Claude Solnik reports:
The publisher of The Wall Street Journal is going to court to overturn a 31-year-old court ruling that blocks public access to Medicare records containing evidence of fraud.
Dow Jones & Co. filed papers in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Tuesday, seeking to overturn an injunction the American Medical Association obtained in 1979.
The injunction stops the public and publications from finding out and revealing information as to the identity and amount doctors bill Medicare, which the Journal said creates a huge obstacle in detecting fraud.
The Journal filed the suit after running a series last year titled “Secrets of the System” based on information available from government Medicare databases.
“It is time to overturn an injunction that, for decades, has allowed some doctors to defraud Medicare free from public scrutiny,” Mark H. Jackson, Dow Jones’ general counsel, said in a written statement.
The AMA, however, argues that physicians are entitled to privacy regarding their financial records available from government Medicare databases.
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