The Obama administration's emphasis on enforcement has caused Federal prosecutions of health care fraud to skyrocket. These are set to rise by 85 per cent in 2011 over last year.
In the first eight months of this year, 903 people were caught for health care fraud, according to statistics from the non-partisan Syracuse University research organization Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
That compares with 731 people who were nabbed in all of 2010. TRAC estimates that if the activity for this year remains at the same pace, the total number of prosecutions will hit 1,355 this fiscal year — up 85 per cent over last year.
Health care fraud cases include investigations into doctors, nurses and executives falsely billing Medicare, or individuals sending fake accident claims to insurance companies.
The Obama administration boosted its enforcement staff earlier this year with two new health care fraud teams in February. The Department of Justice said the large increase in prosecutions stems from its beefed up effort as well as from a number of big busts made this year.
In fiscal 2010, the government recovered $4 billion from health care fraud prosecutions.