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Healthcare fraud prosecutions on pace to rise 85%

USA Today, August 31, 2011

New government statistics show federal health care fraud prosecutions in the first eight months of 2011 are on pace to rise 85% over last year due in large part to ramped-up enforcement efforts under the Obama administration. The statistics, released by the non-partisan Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, show 903 prosecutions so far this year. That's a 24% increase over the total for all of fiscal year 2010, when 731 people were prosecuted for health fraud through federal agencies across the country. Prosecutions have gone up 71% from five years ago, according to TRAC. "This was a fairly dramatic number of prosecutions," said David Burnham, co-director of TRAC. TRAC is a research organization at Syracuse University that submits Freedom of Information Act requests for government data, and then reports the results. Justice Department officials said the increase runs parallel with what they're seeing when looking at health care fraud broadly, in part because of a couple of big busts this year, as well as several cases involving fraud in the private sector.