U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) joined 12 Republican congressmen in sending a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding alleged fraud committed by COVID-19 test kit vendors.
Under the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which ended on May 11, 2023, Medicare Part B covered the cost of eight monthly COVID tests. According to Moore's letter, as the end of the health emergency approached, some COVID test kit vendors offloaded expired and unsolicited tests to Medicare providers and billed Medicare.
"These [over-the-counter] COVID-19 test kits were not only unsolicited but, in many cases, declined by Medicare providers," the letter says. "Yet, these vendors still sent these tests to providers and billed Medicare. Many of these vendors have dubious websites, fake addresses, and phone numbers that do not work, giving us the impression that these 'companies' were solely created to bill Medicare and turn a quick profit at the taxpayers' expense."
The congressmen want to know if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is aware of the fraud, if it's investigating and reporting any cases and if it's auditing its procedures to find how future fraud can be prevented. The letter demands answers by August 25.
"Folks who are sixty-five and over have spent decades paying into Social Security and Medicare, and it's up to our government to steward their money well and hold up our end of the bargain," said Moore. "One of the easiest ways to help is to ensure Medicare isn't paying for fraudulent goods and services. I thank Rep. Cloud and eleven of my Republican colleagues for joining me to get answers on what steps Medicare is taking to combat this fraud and ensure taxpayer money is protected."
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