Feds triple recovered money from Medicaid scams

The federal government has more than tripled the amount of funds it has recovered through Medicaid fraud prosecutions during the past six years, reports USA Today. In 2010, the feds recovered more than $1.84 billion from Medicaid fraudsters, significantly higher than the $573 million in 2004.

Expanding anti-fraud efforts to specifically target Medicaid and increasing grants to state Medicaid Fraud Control Units by 57 percent--to more than $205 million--helped drive the jump in recovered funds, notes USA Today.

In its fight against healthcare fraud, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave more resources to high-fraud states such as Texas and Florida, which had the second and third highest Medicaid amounts recovered in 2010 ($179.8 million and $175 million, respectively), according to Office of Inspector General.

And with overall healthcare fraud prosecutions on track to rise 85 percent, the federal government is maintaining its hard stance against waste and fraud in the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

Even though CMS ramped up its fight against fraud with harsher penalties and more spending on anti-fraud programs, better data sharing across agencies still may be needed to combat healthcare fraud and save billions of dollars a year.

"Fraud fighters are pushing for more CMS data to be consolidated so investigators can better track fraud trends, Louis Saccoccio, executive director of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, told USA Today.

To learn more:
- read the USA Today article