10.21.09

Senate Judiciary Committee Health Care Fraud Prevention Hearing Rescheduled For Oct. 28

Justice Department, Health And Human Services Department To Testify

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee has rescheduled a hearing to examine health care fraud prevention.  The hearing will be held on October 28.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday representatives from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services will testify.  Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary Bill Corr and Assistant Attorney General Tony West, who leads the Civil Division at the Department of Justice, are scheduled to appear.

It will be the second Judiciary Committee hearing focused on health care related issues in just two weeks.  On October 14, 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.  At a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Leahy announced that he intends to offer the legislation as an amendment when the Senate considers healthcare reform legislation in the coming weeks.  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 with other Judiciary Committee members focused on fraud prevention and enforcement to ensure that healthcare reform legislation includes effective anti-fraud measures.

The Committee hearing on “Effective Strategies for Preventing Health Care Fraud” will be held on Wednesday, October 28, at 10:00 a.m. in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  The hearing will be webcast live online.

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