$2.5 bil­lion in Medi­care fraud re­cov­ered in fis­cal 2009: re­port

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

The govern­ment’s ef­forts to rein in Medi­care fraud and abuse re­cov­ered $2.5 bil­lion for the pro­gram in fis­cal 2009, up 29% from $1.9 bil­lion the pre­vi­ous year, ac­cord­ing to a new an­nual re­port. HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Holder touted that num­ber and oth­ers as ev­i­dence that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s in­vig­o­rated at­ten­tion to the prob­lem has paid div­i­dends al­ready. The $2.5 bil­lion col­lected in fis­cal 2009 is at­trib­uted to judg­ments and set­tle­ments in pre­vi­ous years as well as 2009, ac­cord­ing to the re­port of the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Con­trol Pro­gram. An­other $441 mil­lion was re­turned to the trea­sury as the fed­eral share of Med­i­caid re­cov­er­ies. In the crim­i­nal realm of health­care fraud in fis­cal 2009, the Jus­tice Depart­ment opened 1,014 new in­ves­ti­ga­tions com­pared with 953 in fis­cal 2008. Pros­e­cu­tors charged 803 de­fen­dants and won 583 con­vic­tions. Those num­bers don’t dif­fer sig­nif­i­cantly from the pre­vi­ous year. “We have seen over the years that as long as health­care fraud pays and goes un­pun­ished, our health­care sys­tem will re­main un­der siege,” Holder said at a news con­fer­ence. “We’re fight­ing back,” he said.


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