The world is losing about $487 billion to fraud and error annually, according to a report by BDO LLP, an accounting and business advisory firm.

The findings show that since 2008, global average losses within the healthcare sector have risen from 6.99% to 25%.

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Fortunately counter fraud exercises have shown it’s possible to significantly reduce the losses with a reduction of 40% within 12 months. This in itself would see global healthcare resources increased by as much as $195 billion, finds the report.

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“The global financial crisis has had a significant impact on governments, corporates and individuals ability to meet the rising cost of their healthcare requirements,” says Jim Gee, Director of Counter Fraud Services at BDO LLP. “These budgetary constraints could, however, be vastly improved with a concerted effort to measure, manage and minimise the cost of fraud and error within the relevant organisations, particularly if this was supported by legislative requirement.

He adds, the money saved “would make a material difference to the lives of millions of people around the world.”

Read the full report.

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