Health insurance fraud on the rise

Despite the "strike forces" set up to reduce health insurance fraud, Justice Department records show a 2 percent increase in the practice since 2007, with most attempts targeting at cheating the Medicare program, USA Today reports. At a Medicare fraud summit held this week in Washington, D.C., several experts met to try to come up with newer methods of combating the practice, which costs Medicare $60 billion annually. 

The strike forces, which began in Miami nearly three years ago, initially had great success, increasing the investigation of fraud cases by 35 percent in that city. But the number of people charged with Medicare fraud has yet to rise significantly since, even on a national level, despite last month's bust of 30 people in three cities worth a total of $61 million. 

Strike forces now exist in seven cities around the U.S., other than Miami, including Baton Rouge, New York and Tampa. 

Louis Saccoccio of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, called fraud "totally out of control" and referred to many of the cases currently out there as "low-hanging fruit."

To learn more about health insurance fraud:
- read the USA Today story