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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

SENIOR Communities Protection Act Passes House

June 20, 2018
Press Release


SENIOR Communities Protection Act Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night, the House passed legislation introduced by Congressman Tom MacArthur, co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force in Congress. The bill, H.R. 5676, the SENIOR Communities Protection Act, gives Medicare a new tool to crack down on bad actors who fraudulently use Medicare to flood our communities with narcotics.

In some cases, seniors have had their Medicare numbers stolen and used to fraudulently bill Medicare for opioids. Last year the Department of Justice announced the biggest healthcare fraud bust in its history. They charged 412 defendants for billing the government $1.3 billion in fraudulent charges, including for prescription opioids that were then distributed. “Pill dumping” has resulted in millions of painkillers flooding small towns through just a few pharmacies – much of it paid for by Medicare and ultimately taking money away from seniors who rely upon it.

Rep. MacArthur introduced the SENIOR Communities Protection Act to give Medicare Part D the ability to suspend payments to a pharmacy that is under investigation for fraud or abuse.  This allow more rapid response to abusive activity, and protects Medicare dollars for the seniors who rely on them.  

“If a criminal is misusing a pharmacy to fraudulently bill Medicare and distribute prescription drugs, we must stop them in their tracks by cutting off funds,” Congressman MacArthur said. “This bill will help protect seniors from theft of their Medicare dollars and ensure they keep getting the medications they need, while empowering authorities to go after criminals who abuse Medicare to flood our communities with drugs. I am grateful to see this bill pass the House with overwhelming bipartisan support,” MacArthur continued.