Medical educators address Medicare, Medicaid fraud and abuse

May 1, 2011

About half of 131 US medical schools surveyed reported that they had provided instruction to students on Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse laws in 2010.

In response to a survey, almost half (44%) of 131 US medical schools reported that they provided instruction to students on Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse laws in 2010, even though they are not subject to any federal requirement to do so. Conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services, the survey showed that more than two-thirds of 387 respondents representing US institutions offering residency and fellowship programs also offered such instruction.

Of those institutions that provided classroom training on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, more than half acknowledged that 2 hours or less were devoted to the training, and the majority of the information was delivered in lectures. Two-thirds of the schools offered information on the False Claims Act, the physician self-referral law, and the anti-kickback statute.

Nonetheless, 92% of medical school and residency/fellowship program respondents indicated that they would be interested in receiving instructional materials covering fraud and abuse laws. Officials at the responding institutions reported a special interest in more information on the False Claims Act, the anti-kickback statute, and the physician self-referral law. The OIG plans to respond to this interest by preparing educational materials and distributing them to medical schools and institutions that sponsor residency and fellowship programs.