The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and other federal and state agencies are aggressively prosecuting health care fraud and related offenses through a strike force approach that has its roots in DOJ’s historic efforts to combat traditional organized crime (or “La Cosa Nostra”). As DOJ has advised in recent press releases, this approach has been highly impactful in the health care space: Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,700 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
Below, we look at the historic organized crime strike force program, the evolution of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF) and MFSF’s current approach and seemingly ever-increasing productivity.
Originally published in The New York Law Journal on February 10, 2014.
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