The “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list has been in existence since March 14, 1950 when a reporter asked the FBI for the names and descriptions of the “toughest guys” the Bureau would like to capture. 154 fugitives have been captured or located as a result of citizen cooperation. The list made these fugitives famous, making it difficult for them to continue committing crimes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General is hoping to head off health fraudsters the same way.
The OIG Most Wanted List
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General created a list of the 170 “most wanted” health fraud fugitives in the U.S. The OIG Most Wanted list is only a year and a half old, yet 18 people on the list have already been arrested.
In an Aug. 17, 2012 Huffington Post article entitled “Medicare Fraud: California Is Well-Represented On Federal List Of Health Fraud Fugitives,” Donald White, a spokesman for the inspector general’s office, is quoted as saying, “There are a lot of people who are really fed up with the fraudsters who drain money out of needed Medicare and Medicaid programs designed for some of the most vulnerable U.S. citizens,” White said. “It shows how serious the Office of Inspector General is in catching criminals who steal.”
Cracking Down on Healthcare Fraud
It is very encouraging to see the government actively pursuing these criminals. The FBI estimates that health care fraud costs the country $80 billion a year. Healthcare fraud is a very serious crime with a very serious price tag. By creating a list of the “most wanted” fraudsters and informing the public of their scams, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is making it more difficult and more dangerous for these fraudsters to run their scams.
The government is saying no more fraud, waste, and abuse. This list is a step in the right direction towards eliminating these criminals who prey on the sick and helpless to satisfy their own greed. To see if you recognize anyone on the list, visit http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/fugitives/index.asp. Help put an end to fraud, waste, and abuse in the healthcare system.