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September 22/29, 1999

Fraud and Abuse Law

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Columbia Law School, New York, NY.

JAMA. 1999;282(12):1179-1181. doi:10.1001/jama.282.12.1179

I'm from the government and [choose one] . . .
I'm here to help you.
I'm here to protect you.
I'm here to spy on you.
I'm here to drown you in paperwork.
I'm here to take your money.
I'm here to throw you in jail.

Ask medical professionals to choose a statement from the list above regarding federal efforts to root out health care fraud and abuse, and it is more likely that they will select responses from the end of the list than from the beginning. The article by Kalb1 in this issue of THE JOURNAL reveals the scope of the government's antifraud enterprise, but the question remains: what exactly is government doing?

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