Clinton submits Y2K budget proposals on health fraud

In his fiscal year 2000 budget, presented to Congress on Feb. 1, President Clinton projected the government would save $2.9 billion over five years through implementing the following measures to combat waste, fraud and abuse:

- Limit Medicare payments to provide for outpatient drugs to 83% of the average wholesale price.

- Reduce the lab fee schedule ceiling from 74% to 72%;

- Require that insurers report to HCFA all Medicare beneficiaries they insure;

- Grant HCFA authority to fine private insurers twice the amount owed if they intentionally allow to government to pay claims for which they are responsible.

- Impose stricter controls on Medicare’s partial hospitalization benefit to ensure the government pays for therapy actually provided to beneficiaries.

- Clinton also proposed to raise $194.5 million by charging providers user fees to participate in the Medicare program.

While the budget proposes to increase overall spending by $11.5 billion, providers can expect cuts of $9 billion.