The federal government wants to crack down on prescription-drug fraud.
Taxpayers spent $62 billion in 2012 on Medicare Part D, the program to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and the disabled. ProPublica ran a series detailing the fraudulent activity within the program, and on Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a rule to crack down on the abuse.
Its strategy would require doctors who prescribe drugs to Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in the program; this would allow greater oversight by CMS, which could call on its investigative team to collect information and take action should they suspect abuse. The agency also reserves the right to revoke licensing and enrollment.
If implemented, the regulation is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, but such rule-makings routinely run months or years behind schedule.