Feds recover record $2.5B from healthcare fraud

The Obama Administration's crackdown on healthcare fraud has led to a record $2.5 billion being recovered from industry-related wrongdoing during the most recent fiscal year, reports USA Today.

"Our aggressive pursuit of healthcare fraud has resulted in the largest recovery of taxpayer dollars in the history of the Justice Department," said Thomas Perrelli, associate attorney general.

Officials with the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services say more vigorous fraud investigations along with the encouragement of whistleblowers has led to higher totals. The DOJ and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have also regularly been holding summits at healthcare fraud hotspots such as Miami and Los Angeles to highlight fraudulent activity.

More than half of the money received has been related to overcharges and regulatory abuse by pharmaceutical firms, including a $420 million settlement from industry giant Novartis.

Along with the money recovered, the federal government has been awarded an additional $1.5 billion in administrative findings. Medicare actuaries also note that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains provisions to recover an additional $4.9 billion from fraudsters over the next decade, which will be used to keep the program's trust fund solvent.

For more:
- read the USA Today article
- read the Los Angeles Times article on a whistleblowing pharmacy