BALTIMORE -- Medicare fraud busters invited the news media to visit their new $3.6 million command center and see high-tech tools being deployed to track down scammers.
While the action Tuesday wasn't real, the problem is. At least $60 billion a year is lost to fraud.
The carpeting still smells new at the command center, where a couple dozen high-tech work stations are arrayed in a semicircle in front of a giant screen. The screen can call up data and enable face-to-face communication with Medicare investigators around the country.
Fraud czar Peter Budetti said the facility will pay for itself many times over, allowing investigators to spot scams more rapidly and take them down. But two Republican senators are raising questions, saying the screen alone cost several hundred thousand dollars.