HCPLive Network
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Record Health Care Fraud Cases in 2013

Laura Joszt | Thursday, January 16, 2014
A record number of health care fraud cases were prosecuted in fiscal year 2013, according to data from the Justice Department.
 
Every year thousands of physicians are victims of medical identity theft for the purpose of Medicare fraud. (See how to prevent this theft.)
 
A nonprofit group based at Syracuse University obtained the statistics through a Freedom of Information Act to track federal enforcement activities. The information found that prosecutors pursued 377 new federal health care fraud cases in the fiscal year that ended in October.
 
The cases filed represent a new record, which possibly reflects that the government has placed more emphasis on combating the sort of crime that costs taxpayers money, according to the Associated Press.
 
The number of cases filed in 2013 represents a 3% increase over the previous year and a 7.7% increase from five years ago and a 10% increase from a decade ago, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
 
In East St. Louis there were 10.1 prosecutions in this area per 1 million people — more than eight times the national average. There has been a huge growth in the rate of prosecutions in this judicial district. According to the data from TRAC, prosecutions were up 1,200% from a year ago.
 
Miami was a close second with 8.8 prosecutions per 1 million people. Third place South Carolina reported 7.2 prosecutions per million, which is a 709% increase from five years ago.
 
A huge push came toward the beginning of 2013 when 89 people in eight cities were charged for their alleged roles in Medicare scams billing the program for $223 million in fraudulent charges, according to the AP. Instead of paying first and investigating suspicious claims later, authorities are now flagging those claims before paying them.
 
Attorney General Eric Holder has estimated in the past that Medicare fraud costs the government and taxpayers $60 to $90 billion.



RELATED ARTICLES
One of the methods for improving profits is the hiring of non-physician practitioners, but the key is thorough planning. While hiring an NPP is a numbers game, there are other elements that are even more important.
Although a small majority of Americans support physician-assisted suicide, two-thirds of physicians do not support the idea, according to a poll.
Typically, physicians who perform procedures are paid the highest and those managing chronic illnesses are at the bottom of the compensation list.
RECENT CLINICAL ARTICLES
Individuals with higher levels of brown adipose tissue may have a reduced risk for obesity and diabetes, according to a new study published online July 23 in Diabetes.
Adoption of a standardized pneumonia prevention program can achieve a substantial and sustained reduction in postoperative pneumonia incidence in non-mechanically ventilated patients, according to a study published online July 23 in JAMA Surgery.
The deadly Ebola virus that continues to rage throughout West Africa poses little risk to Americans, US health officials stressed Monday.