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Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies' Anti-Fraud Units Recover and Save More Than $249 Million In 2007
Date:6/19/2008

ly 10,000 cases involving providers were investigated;

-- 654 cases were referred to law enforcement officials;

-- 274 cases were sent to professional licensing authorities;

-- 350 cases resulted in arrests and/or indictments;

-- 259 cases led to criminal convictions; and

-- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan customers made more than 4,000 calls to

anti-fraud hotlines.

Panelists said healthcare fraud can take on many forms. "Medical identity theft is the fastest growing form of healthcare fraud, which continues to be a major financial drain on the health system," said Brandt. According to the recently released Federal Trade Commission's 2006 Identity Theft Survey Report, 3 percent of the 8.3 million identity theft victims in 2005 had their personal information falsely used to obtain medical treatment and services.

"Consumer awareness and education is a key focus of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' anti-fraud efforts," said Anderson. "Coordination is also important, and Blue companies often work together on large medical identity theft cases that include different entities working together across state lines. We urge anybody with information concerning potential healthcare fraud to call the national hotline number at 1.877.327.BLUE."

Quiggle said medical identity theft can be dangerous as well as financially devastating. "Elaborate fraud rings using complicated schemes to maximize the use of stolen medical identities have become more commonplace," he said.

Panelists urged consumers to take more active roles in preventing healthcare fraud by reading and understanding their Explanation of Benefits (EOB). They also recommended that consumers check with their provider's office if there are inconsistencies on their EOB, or contact their health insurers if they have additional questions.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan members can report suspected fraud through a national hotline number, 1.877
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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