A worldwide scheme to reduce healthcare fraud has been launched including key players from the UK private medical insurance (PMI) market.
The Global Healthcare Anti-fraud Network aims to reduce and eliminate healthcare fraud around the world by promoting partnerships and communications between international organisations.
It is a joint venture between the UK's Health Insurance Counter Fraud Group (HICFG), the European Healthcare Anti-fraud and Corruption Network, and sister organisations in the USA and Canada - the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA) and the Canadian Health healthcare Anti-Fraud Association (CHCAA).
Carl Carter, chairman of the Association of International medical insurance Providers, previously told COVER of the organisation's involvement with HICFG and that fraud was a very serious concern to the industry.
The group's first meeting took place in Atlanta, Georgia this month where members pledged to gather and share information on trends, issues, facts and figures involved in global fraud and also cooperative on anti-fraud issues.
Speaking after the conference Simon Winnard, chair of HICFG, said: "This is a massive step forward in combating healthcare fraud globally.
"The summit provided an excellent platform for some fascinating discussions, out of which emerged some common themes and real actions for the network moving forward.
"The HICFG is committed to being at the forefront of this work and looks forward to getting together to formulate action plans over the next few months," he added.
And Dr Simon Peck, media officer for HICFG added: "Considerable difficulties exist for insurers in dealing with fraud from countries other than their own.
"There are regrettably a small number of clinics in some countries whose business practices are unacceptable and sometimes fraudulent.
"This network will give members access to services and contacts to deal with these problems and this will translate into real benefits for our customers."