The Justice Department and the Dept. of Health and Human Services announced the creation of a new interagency effort to combat Medicare fraud.
In addition to the new Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), the two agencies will add joint DOJ-HHS Medicare Fraud Strike Forces in Detroit and Houston. There are already such strike forces in South Florida and Los Angeles.
The strike forces use a data-driven approach to identify unexplainable billing patterns and investigate those providers for possible fraudulent activity. The Florida team has already convicted 146 defendants and secured $186 million in criminal fines and civil recoveries. In Los Angeles more than $55 million has been ordered in restitution to the Medicare program.