10.14.09

Leahy Schedules Health Care Fraud Prevention Hearing

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Committee will hold a hearing on October 21 to examine health care fraud prevention.

It will be the second Judiciary Committee hearing focused on health care related issues in just one week.  Today, Leahy chaired a hearing examining legislation to repeal the federal antitrust exemption for health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies.  Leahy introduced the Health Insurance Antitrust Enforcement Act in September.  The bill would repeal the antitrust exemption, and on Wednesday, Leahy said he intends to work with the leadership in the Senate to secure a vote on the measure.  Leahy has been a longtime leader in the Senate to repeal the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act, and in the 110th Congress, introduced bipartisan legislation to fully repeal the Act.

Earlier this year, Leahy authored legislation to increase the tools and resources available to law enforcement to investigate and prosecute fraud.  Leahy worked to move the legislation through the Judiciary Committee and the Senate, and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act was signed into law in May.  Leahy has worked with members of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to help develop anti-fraud provisions in those Committees’ health care reform legislation.  Leahy plans to continue working to ensure that health care reform legislation includes effective anti-fraud measures.

The Committee hearing on “Effective Strategies for Preventing Health Care Fraud” will be held on Wednesday, October 21, at 10:00 a.m. in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  The hearing will be webcast live online.  Witnesses will be announced in the coming days.

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