Response to “Fake medical providers slip through Medicare loophole” AJC.com, Dec. 2
A recent article raised concerns that many criminals are trying to defraud Medicare by enrolling with private mailboxes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shares these concerns and is taking aggressive steps to protect taxpayer dollars and stop fraudulent billing.
— We are reviewing all 1.5 million Medicare providers to ensure their legitimacy. We have deactivated or revoked nearly 150,000 enrollments nationwide.
— Providers wishing to participate in our programs who may pose a higher risk of fraud or abuse are now required to undergo additional scrutiny, like site visits to their practice location.
— We are using new technology to identify fraud and catch criminals.
The article mentioned some providers who tried to use private mailboxes to register for a National Provider Identifier (NPI). Receiving an NPI doesn’t allow providers to enroll in or bill Medicare or Medicaid. Providers must take additional steps to be able to bill these programs.
Our work is making a difference. Four years ago, efforts to fight fraud in these programs recovered $1 billion per year. This year, we recovered a record $4.1 billion.
DR. PETER BUDETTI, deputy administrator for program integrity, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Washington, D.C.
‘Global warming’ just
another excuse to tax
The letter “Time running out on global warming” ( Readers write, Opinion, Dec. 9) demonstrated the hubris of many who think we humans can have a major impact on Earth’s climate, which is always changing — and has, for billions of years.
The letter also demonstrates a lack of historical knowledge concerning major climatic events over the centuries. The trendy idea of a carbon tax is merely a way to take wealth from the people to further finance the welfare state; finance projects for the politically favored, and make money for politically connected middle men.
EDWARD A. WATKINS, LILBURN
Falcons deal shows
contempt for public
The lead story on the development of the financing plans for a new stadium exposes the contempt that our elected officials and hand-picked GWCCA appointees have for the public (“Next stadium step: $300M in funding,” News, Dec. 11). How else to explain why tax revenues should be spent to build a luxury football palace when so many are suffering economically, and our critical infrastructure is not getting the funding necessary to move the Atlanta metro area into the 21st century?
Better that the hotel tax revenues should go to fund our education and transportation systems. The stadium proponents have not offered any empirical evidence to show the public that they will economically benefit from its investment on behalf of the Falcons.
It should be patently obvious that as a region, we would get a far greater return on our investment if we spent our tax revenues on education, rather than subsidizing private luxury corporate skyboxes.
The stadium we have now is more than adequate to meet the needs of the Atlanta Falcons today and for the foreseeable future.
FRED PAPRIN, SANDY SPRINGS
Make future elections
more voter friendly
I sure don’t know the answer, but we in the U.S. make voting so difficult.
Voting should be easy. Why not change election day to a national holiday; make it two days, instead of one, and change the Tuesday date to Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday?