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Stop Medicare Fraud. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and U.S. Department of Justice Stop Medicare Fraud U.S. Department of Health & Human Services U.S. Department of Justice

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Breaking News: Medicare Fraud Strike Force Operations Lead to Charges Against 32 Doctors and Health Care Executives for More Than $16 Million in Alleged False Billing in Houston

Early Morning Takedown Leads to Arrests in Houston, New York, Boston and Louisiana

WASHINGTON - Thirty-two people have been indicted for schemes to submit more than $16 million in false Medicare claims in the continuing operation of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in Houston, Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden and Deputy Secretary Bill Corr of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today. The Strike Force in Houston is the fourth phase of a targeted criminal, civil and administrative effort against individuals and health care companies that fraudulently bill the Medicare program. View the Press Release.

Additional Information: Houston Medicare Fraud Strike Force Takedown

Turning up the HEAT to Stop Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

Most health care providers are doing the right thing and providing care with integrity. But sadly, due to the illegal actions of a small but active group of heath care fraud perpetrators, billions of dollars are stolen from taxpayers each year. Medicare fraud schemes have grown bolder and more elaborate, resulting in billions of dollars in false billings and fraud schemes which are robbing Medicare and Medicaid blind and leaving our most vulnerable citizens at risk.

Medicare fraud affects every American. Not only is waste, fraud and abuse taking critical resources out of our health care system, it contributes to the rising cost of health care for all Americans and harms the short-term and long-term solvency of these essential programs.

Eliminating fraud will cut costs for families, businesses and the federal budget and increase the quality of services for those who need care.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are working together to help eliminate fraud and investigate fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid operators who are cheating the system.

Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are taking the fight against Medicare and Medicaid fraud to a new level. They have committed senior officials from HHS and DOJ to work together on the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT).

Read Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Attorney General Holder on New Medicare Fraud Initiative at a Press Conference with HHS Secretary Sebelius (05-20-09)

The HEAT Team will expand efforts to stop fraud and prevent it from happening in the first place. These efforts will include:

Stopping Those Who Perpetrate Fraud:

map of the United States with stars over Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit and Houston

Preventing Fraud:

  • Building demonstration projects focused on Durable Medical Equipment. These projects will increase site visits during enrollment so we can block out imposters and make sure criminals aren't posing as real providers;
  • Increasing training for providers on Medicare compliance and offering providers the resources and the knowledge they need to help identify and prevent fraud;
  • Improving data and information sharing between the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services and law enforcement so we can identify patterns that lead to fraud.
  • Strengthening program integrity activities to monitor and ensure Medicare Parts C (Medicare Advantage plans) and D (prescription drug programs) compliance and enforcement; and
  • Working with Americans to identify fraud via hotlines and Web sites.

Future Happenings – Stay Tuned:

  • New initiatives will be added in the weeks ahead;
  • Look for a new HHS/DOJ joint Web site that will track the progress of these efforts; and
  • New strategies for involving and getting the word out to the public.