DOJ and HHS Announce Recoveries of $13 Billion in FCA Cases

In a January 24, 2011 letter to U.S. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) detailed their efforts in combating health care fraud.  The letter noted that Fiscal Year 2010 was a banner year during which 931 health care fraud defendants were charged, a 16% increase from FY 2009.  This increase includes focused efforts by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Brooklyn, Tampa, and Baton Rouge.

As of January 4, 2011, DOJ and HHS reported 1,341 qui tam cases under investigation without a decision whether the allegations warrant intervention by the government.  Of those cases, roughly 66% allege health care fraud.  Of that 66%, 867 cases involve allegations of either Medicaid or Medicare fraud.

The Department of Justice has obtained 716 settlements and judgments in False Claims Act cases since Fiscal Year 2006 which represent approximately $13.4 billion.  During that period, an additional 1,244 qui tam cases were declined or dismissed before election.  The letter also noted that, for qui tam cases filed since October 1, 2006, the average length of time a case remained under seal is thirteen (13) months.  In addition, DOJ has intervened on behalf of qui tam relaters in approximately 23.70% in 2010 and 22.20% since 2006.

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