The Dept. of Justice and the Dept. of Health and Human Services have announced the creation of an interagency effort, the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), to combat Medicare fraud. In addition, Medicare Fraud Strike Forces, already operating in South Florida and Los Angeles, will be expanded to Detroit and Houston.
The strike force teams, established in 2007, use a “data-driven” approach to identify unexplainable billing patterns and investigate these providers for possible fraudulent activity. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force team operating in South Florida has already convicted 146 defendants and secured $186 million in criminal fines and civil recoveries.