Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report showing that the government’s health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts recovered nearly $4.2 billion in 2012. According to the report on The Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Act Team’s (HEAT) performance, for the second year in a row, the government’s new plan to attack Medicare Fraud reaped results.
The Feds recovered $4.2 billion of taxpayers’ money last year from legal proceedings, settlements and penalties. In 2011, joint efforts to reduce Medicare fraud resulted in a $4.1 billion dollar recovery.
In May 2012, Medicare Strike Force teams charged 107 people, including licensed health care professionals in seven cities, who were allegedly involved in schemes involving over $452 million in false billing.
In 2011, the same teams charged 115 people, including health care professionals, companies and executives for suspected participation in Medicare fraud schemes that involved over $240 million in false billing. In another case, 91 suspects were charged for their alleged involvement in a Medicare fraud scheme that involved $290 million + in false billings.
According to the HHS’s press release :
“A key component of HEAT is the Medicare Strike Force – interagency teams of analysts, investigators, and prosecutors who can target emerging or migrating fraud schemes, including fraud by criminals masquerading as healthcare providers or suppliers.”
The Department of HHS attributes success to HEAT and several additional steps President Obama’s Administration took to combat Medicare Fraud – including provisions in ObamaCare. Thanks to ObamaCare, Medicare fraudsters will receive 20 to 50 percent longer sentences for crimes involving more than $1-million dollars in lost taxpayer money. It also makes it more difficult for Medicare fraudsters to transfer their scams to another state or between Medicare and Medicaid.