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Mental health fraud hits the most vulnerable citizens

Despite advancements in understanding over the past few decades, the stigma of suffering from an acute mental illness continues. But it’s still troubling to note that more than half of adults with a mental illness received no treatment in 2012-13.1 In addition, one in five adults said they were not able to get the treatment they needed for their mental illness. Even states with more universal access to healthcare report these problems.

Also troubling is the persistent amount of mental health fraud that occurs. By whatever yardstick you use, healthcare fraud costs us all dearly. Estimates put the price of healthcare fraud at between 3% and 10% of total expenditures, which were $3 trillion in 20142; that equates to between $90 billion and $300 billion in bogus charges that health plans and federal payers — and you and I — paid for.

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