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The units of measure for losses due to health care fraud and abuse in this country are hundreds of billions of dollars per year. We just don't know the first digit. It might be as low as one hundred billion. More likely two or three. Possibly four or five. But whatever that first digit is, it has eleven zeroes after it. These are staggering sums of money to waste, and the task of controlling and reducing these losses warrants a great deal of serious attention. One of my deep regrets is to discover that academia has paid almost no serious attention to this critical problem. I suspect this neglect is because the art of health care fraud control falls awkwardly between the traditional disciplines of health economics, health policy, crime control policy, anomaly detection and pattern recognition.


Sparrow, Malcolm K. "Criminal Prosecution as a Deterrent to Health Care Fraud." Testimony to the Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, U.S. Senate, May 20, 2009.