Valdosta State University in Georgia recently hosted a presentation in recognition of International Fraud Awareness Week (November 12-18), a global initiative developed to minimize the effects of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and outreach efforts. Former FBI agent Victor Hartman was a presenter at the event, and he focused primarily on healthcare fraud.
Since he left the FBI, Hartman has gone on to launch The Hartman Firm, a corporation that specializes in internal investigations, fraud mitigation and forensic accounting. In his years with the bureau, he played a role in investigating the Enron and WorldCom scandals, among various other high-profile fraud cases.
Hartman spoke at length about the surprising prevalence of fraud in the healthcare sector in particular. He also emphasized the important role whistleblowers play in uncovering wrongdoing and facilitating government action.
For example, in the Enron case, Hartman said he was informed by a secretary that her boss could be involved in the fraudulent scheme. Finding evidence that pointed to that executive would have been significantly more difficult without the whistleblower’s report.
Healthcare fraud is the most pervasive and expensive fraud affecting the United States. One of the reasons it is so problematic is that many patients seem to be willing to look the other way on the issue so long their treatment is covered by insurance. This creates a system that is prone to abused on the part of certain healthcare providers.
If you believe healthcare fraud is occurring within your organization, you may receive federal protection from retaliation. For more information on how to proceed with reporting what you know, speak with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.