In a December 13, 2011 press release, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has recovered over $5.6 billion in total fraud in 2011, an increase of over 167% since 2008. Of this $5.6 billion recovered in 2011, over $2.9 billion (over 51%) recovered was due to healthcare fraud. According to HHS,
This was driven in part by unprecedented cooperation between the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to detect and halt fraud earlier. Specifically, the Obama Administration has greatly expanded the use of Medicare Fraud Strike Forces, specialized teams of agents and prosecutors who focus on catching health care fraud. The teams monitor Medicare data in real time and works together to prosecute fraud much more quickly than before. It now often takes months, not years, to bring a case to resolution. At the start of the administration, there were two Strike Force teams. Now, there are Strike Force teams in nine different cities. And they have been effective: in 2008, they brought cases involving $384 million in fraudulent claims. This year, they brought cases involving over $1 billion in fraudulent claims. For every dollar spent on this effort, the administration has recovered seven dollars.
Over the past few years, The Health Law Attorney Blog has emphasized the increase in government scrutiny and HHS has released the numbers to support it. Now, more than ever, healthcare providers and suppliers must be cognizant of the current regulatory landscape and increased enforcement and take proactive measures to enhance their compliance.
For more information on how to avoid becoming a government target, please contact Robert S. Iwrey, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128 or visit the HLP website.