The Dept. of Justice and the Dept. of Health and Human Services have taken serious action to combat Medicare fraud —and it’s working. From the Huffington Post:
Federal authorities say they recovered $4.1 billion in health care fraud judgments last year, a record high which officials on Monday credited to new tools for cracking down on deceitful Medicare claims.
The recovered funds are up roughly 50 percent from 2009.
"Fighting fraud is one of our top priorities and we have recovered an unprecedented number of taxpayer dollars," Sebelius said in a statement. "Our efforts strengthen the integrity of our health care programs, and meet the president's call for a return to American values that ensure everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules."
Officials credited the spike in recovered funds in part to strike force teams set up in fraud hot spots around the country, including Miami, Detroit and Los Angeles.
The teams charged 323 defendants, who collectively billed the Medicare program more than $1 billion last year. That includes a massive bust in February 2011, in which more than 100 doctors, nurses and physical therapists were charged with fraud in nine states. Stopping Medicare's budget from hemorrhaging that money will be key to paying for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
By focusing on eliminating Medicare fraud, the Justice Dept, and the DHHS have recovered $4.1 million, up 50% from 2009. It’s a success of the Affordable Care Act we can already see. That's good news for Medicare, for the Obama administration, and most of all, good news for U.S. taxpayers.
Cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org