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Medicare Fraud Recovery Totaled $4B in 2010

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 25, 2011

Federal officials recovered $4 billion in taxpayer funds from fraud and prevention efforts in FY 2010, the highest amount ever, and more evidence of the high priority this effort has for the current administration.

"President Obama has made it very clear that fraud and abuse of taxpayers' dollars are unacceptable," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement. "And for too long, our fraud prevention efforts have focused on chasing after taxpayer dollars after they have already been paid out.

Sebelius credited the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with providing new legal tools to help in the recovery of fraud, abuse and waste of federal healthcare dollars.

These include enhanced provider eligibility screening and Medicare and Medicaid program enrollment requirements, increased data sharing across government agencies, expanded overpayment recovery efforts and greater oversight of abuses by private insurance companies.

Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald Berwick, said the new law that gives more power to fight fraud, and to "develop sophisticated, new systems of monitoring and oversight to not only help us crack down on fraudulent activity scamming these programs, but also help us to prevent the loss of taxpayer dollars across the board for millions of American healthcare consumers."

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