Tackling health fraudsters
Scotland’s “particularly innovative” approach to tackling healthcare fraud has been praised at a major international conference.
Fraudsters are depriving European healthcare systems of up to 100 billion euros every year, according to the European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EHFCN), which is in Edinburgh for its annual gathering.
This year’s conference is focusing on cross-border fraud, including so-called ‘health tourism’, where people travel to other countries to get treatment to which they are not entitled.
Other examples of healthcare fraud common across Europe include:
* Claiming for medical, surgical or dental work which has not been done
* Patients falsifying their income to receive free or discounted healthcare
* Health professionals creating details of patients who do not exist and claiming for treating these ‘ghost’ patients
Scotland has shown a strong lead by setting up NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services (CFS), with every NHS body in Scotland having identified an NHS ‘counter fraud champion’ to promote an anti-fraud culture in their organisations.
Since the CFS’s establishment in 2000, there have been fraud savings to the NHS of more than £21 million. As well as promoting an ‘awareness culture’, the CFS works closely with the UK Border Agency and the police.