Fraud and corruption conference

18-19 October 2004 -The first conference to focus on tackling fraud and corruption in EU healthcare is being organised by the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (CFSMS), and partner organisations from five other EU countries, having secured funding from AGIS, an EU Commission programme to help EU member states co-operate in criminal matters.

Over £600 billion is spent on the provision of healthcare across the EU. The conference will aim at ensuring the best possible protection of those funds.

CFSMS is organising the conference to examine problems and solutions in healthcare fraud and corruption within the 25 EU member states, with a view to encouraging joint working, developing common standards and sharing best practice.

Although the CFSMS is the lead organisation for this initiative, the application to the European Commission’ AGIS programme for funding was a result of a joint working group with counter fraud and corruption representatives from five other European Union countries, such as the Polish Ministry of Health; Official College of Pharmacists of Madrid; Dutch Association of Health Insurers (ZN); The Bureau of Fight against Corruption (Ministry of Interior -Slovakia).

Actual savings on fraud
£478million (enough to pay for 60,000 kidney transplant operations or 100,000 hip replacements) has been saved by the CFSMS while investigating fraud in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The CFSMS, which employs more than 400 fraud specialists, reported that the savings were made in their first five years of work, in its ten-year plan. Every single NHS trust, primary care trust and other health bodies are to be investigated during that decade.
A special ‘Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line’ (08702 400 100) was set up for those who suspected fraud in their workplace. (However, the NHS emphasised that the majority of employees are honest).

By making claim forms ‘fraud proof’, the reduction in fraud by patients was 49% (false free medicine claims, etc), and by NHS staff (lies about hours worked) was 46%.


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