The case of a troubled Texas hospital system shows how a federal, $24 billion stimulus program that distributes funds to help computerize health-care records has been vulnerable to fraud.
It also highlights the challenges in recouping the money that wasn’t used for those purposes, The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1QLLwAO ) reported. Experts say the stimulus fraud is made worse by a “pay-and-chase” system, or for giving out money without first screening recipients and later chasing it, usually after it’s vanished.
A recent inspector general report also disclosed that outstanding federal criminal debts have climbed past $100 billion while staffing to recover stolen funds has declined.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department awarded nearly $18 million through the program to Tariq Mahmood’s rural hospital chain. The newspaper reported in 2013 that the vast majority of the money wasn’t used to upgrade the hospital’s electronic records.