Medicare fraud efforts pay off

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WASHINGTON – The Medicare Strike Force set record numbers for healthcare prosecutions last year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Jan.27.

The Strike Force, a partnership between the DOJ and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), filed 137 cases, charged 345 individuals and secured 234 guilty pleas in fiscal year 2013. Its work also resulted in 46 jury trial convictions.

“These record results underscore our determination to hold accountable those who take advantage of vulnerable populations, commit fraud on federal healthcare programs, and place the safety of others at risk for illicit financial gain,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “By targeting our enforcement efforts to ‘hot spots’ in nine cities, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force is allowing us to fight back more effectively than every before.”

Since its inception in 2007, the Strike Force has charged more than 1,700 defendants representing more than $5.5 billion in claims. It currently operates in Baton Rouge, La.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; and Tampa, Fla.

A recent report by the Office of Inspector General found that for every $1 spent by the DOJ and HHS to fight healthcare fraud, the U.S. Treasury and the Medicare Trust Fund receives $8.