More than $4 billion in healthcare fraud abuse funds were recovered during 2010, the largest sum ever in a single year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today. The record recovery is due in part to increased prevention and enforcement efforts by HHS and the Department of Justice, according to a release.
Findings were released in the annual “Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program” report. HHS and the Department of Justice cite the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), created in 2009 to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as an explanation for the growing recovery of funds.
The two agencies hosted a series of regional fraud prevention summits around the country last year and urged state attorneys general to work with law enforcement officials to educate seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries about how to prevent scams and fraud.
Federal prosecutors opened 1,116 criminal healthcare fraud investigations as of the end of FY 2010 and filed criminal charges in 488 cases involving 931 defendants. A total of 726 defendants were convicted for healthcare fraud-related crimes during the year.