|Former Federal Prosecutor Lee Arian to Head WellPoint Fraud and Abuse Unit|
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 2, 2004--WellPoint (NYSE:WLP), the nation's second largest health insurer, announced today that it has hired Lee S. Arian, a former Assistant United States Attorney, to head up its fraud and abuse unit. Arian will be responsible for efforts to help detect and deter schemes that cost the American health care system billions of dollars each year.
"Fraud and abuse is a key cost driver in our industry making it more difficult for Americans to afford quality health care. Lee's experience and outstanding reputation among prosecutors and health regulators will help WellPoint deter fraud and abuse," said Leonard D. Schaeffer, WellPoint chairman and chief executive officer.
At the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles, Arian spent nearly eight years in the Criminal Division's Public Corruption and Government Fraud section where he served as the health care fraud coordinator, investigating and prosecuting fraud involving health care, government programs, banks, securities and taxes. Arian has lectured and written on health care and sentencing issues for the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the California Society for Healthcare Attorneys, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
"We are dealing with a very sophisticated criminal element that, according to health care experts, costs Americans as much as $85 billion in 2003," said Arian. "Our goal is to keep health care affordable by recovering sums from those who commit fraud and deterring those who may consider doing so. We will be particularly vigilant against so-called 'rent-a-patient' schemes where claims are filed for unperformed procedures."
WellPoint Health Networks Inc. serves the health care needs of 15.5 million medical members and 46.2 million specialty members nationwide through Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, HealthLink and UNICARE. Visit WellPoint on the web at www.wellpoint.com. Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
SOURCE: WellPoint Health Networks Inc.