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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Medicare Prescription Drug Fraud

There are millions of people in America who receive support from the federal government by way of Medicare programs, social security, and disability. As we all know health care can be quite expensive; doctors’ appointments, surgeries, and medications can add up quickly. Medicare programs will cover the cost of medications which can be quite helpful; unfortunately there are thousands of people who abuse Medicare by doctor shopping.

The Government Accountability Office found that in 2008 an estimated 170,000 people who were enrolled in Medicare received prescriptions from five or more doctors for commonly abused medications, such as OxyContin and Percocet, according to an U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) news release.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will tell Medicare prescription drug plans to withhold payment to pharmacies when they detect suspicious activity related to narcotics and painkillers, reports Reuters.

Nearly three in 10 people between ages 57 to 85 use at least five prescriptions, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Between 1997 and 2008, the rate of hospital admissions for conditions related to prescription medications and illicit drug use rose by 96 percent among people ages 65 and 84; for people 85 and older, admissions grew 87 percent.

The federal government is doing anything in their power to stop the prescription drug epidemic that continues to rage through America. Prescription drugs have quickly become one of the leading causes of people entering substance abuse treatment. So often people make the mistake of thinking that prescription narcotics are somehow safer and less addictive than illegal narcotics.

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