Medicare and Medicaid FAST Act takes aim at cutting waste, fraud and abuse

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Bipartisan legislation that is aimed to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid programs has been introduced to Congress.

Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said that the Medicare and Medicaid Fighting Fraud and Abuse to Save Taxpayers’ Dollars Act, which was unveiled Wednesday, would address the aforementioned problems, which often lead to tens of billions of dollars lost to waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid every year, the senators said.

The legislation, also referred to as the FAST Act, is cosponsored by Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Scott Brown, R-Mass.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and John Thune, R-S.D.

Responding to the introduced legislation, the National Community Pharmacists Association said that although the group was continuing to review the legislation, it applauded the senators' efforts, stating that "every dollar that is lost to fraudsters or misspent on bloated administrative expenses increases costs for everyone, jeopardizes patients’ access to pharmacists and other providers and creates artificial pressure on provider reimbursements, which already don’t necessarily cover the cost of providing care."