updated 12/13/2007 9:06:19 AM ET 2007-12-13T14:06:19

Below is the official response to the Medicare fraud from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administer the program. (Nightly News received this after the two reports had run on-air.) The response in full:

"HHS and CMS continue to aggressively target DME fraud on several levels and it remains a top priority. It is appalling that some seek to steal from a program intended to help millions of people, including some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens.

In addition to implementing stringent enrollment standards and background checks to ensure the legitimacy of suppliers billing Medicare, CMS is also conducting more frequent site visits to ensure supplier compliance with Medicare rules and tougher quality standards.

Along with state and other federal partners, HHS has significantly enhanced its efforts to identify fraudulent billings and prevent those billings from recurring.  CMS has also launched a DME demonstration project in South Florida intended to test tougher enrollment criteria and a mandatory surety bond regulation will further enhance HHS’ ability to detect this type of fraud and work to deter it before it occurs.

Beneficiaries can do their part by carefully reviewing their Medicare billing statements and protecting their beneficiary numbers. CMS has been educating beneficiaries across the country about the importance of safeguarding their benefits.

Finally, we look forward to working with the Congress to gain expanded funding for our anti-fraud efforts."

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