Media releases

May 26, 2003

Medibank Private acts on fraud

An article in today's Herald Sun newspaper outlines a case of alleged fraud against health funds by a complementary medicine practice and its patients.

Medibank Private will investigate this alleged fraud and take appropriate action if the allegations are proven.

Medibank Private Managing Director George Savvides said that the health fund actively investigated all instances of possible fraud.

"We are a custodian of our members' funds and we are committed to protecting those funds from fraudulent acts," Mr Savvides said.

"Since 2001, we have had an in-house team dedicated to detecting and investigating fraudulent activity.

"And while we do not make any apologies for taking a tough stance on fraud, we do not believe such activity is in any way typical - the vast majority of our members and providers would never act in such a way," Mr Savvides said.

Since early 2001, Medibank Private has investigated nearly 500 cases of alleged fraud, resulting in over 280 cases where action has been taken. The dollar amounts involved have ranged from $20 to $150,000.

The action that Medibank Private takes in the case of proven fraud can vary, but includes de-recognition of a health-care provider, termination of their Members' Choice accreditation, seeking financial restitution, cancellation of health fund membership and lodgement of a police brief.

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