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Patricia O'Connell
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Kirk Nahra Discusses Sequester’s Impact on Health Care Anti-Fraud Efforts

Bloomberg BNA’s Health Care Daily Report
March 7, 2013

Kirk J. Nahra, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Health Care Practice, was quoted in a March 5 Bloomberg BNA article about federal budget cuts that may harm efforts to fight health care fraud.

The sequester that took effect March 1 will cut $57 million from the federal Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) program and $3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General, according to the article. The cuts are part of the $85 billion government-wide spending reduction that will occur over the next seven months.

The cuts may cause delays in resolving health care anti-fraud cases and diminish available program integrity resources, Mr. Nahra told Bloomberg BNA. Federal anti-fraud programs require substantial resources provided by both internal government employees and outside contractors, he said.

“By reducing the anti-fraud effort, the government will actually spend more on fraudulent claims, with an overall net negative effect on the government budget,” as fewer cases of health care fraud will be investigated, Mr. Nahra said.