By: Mike Bittman
In July 2017, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services opened a new Medicare Fraud Strike Force in Orlando, the third in Florida.
The original Medicare Fraud Strike Force opened in Miami in March 2007. Due to the success of the Miami Strike Force, and increased funding, DOJ and HHS opened Strike Forces in eight additional areas with high levels of billing fraud: Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Brooklyn, Baton Rouge, Tampa, Chicago, and Dallas. Since inception, the Medicare Fraud Task Forces have brought criminal charges against over 3,500 defendants who collectively falsely billed Medicare over $12.5 billion.
The Strike Force model consists of interagency teams made up of investigators and prosecutors that focus on the worst offenders engaged in fraud. The Strike Force uses advanced data analysis techniques to identify suspicious billing levels, and targets schemes that migrate from one community to another. Members of the Orlando Strike Force include a prosecutor with the DOJ Criminal Division Fraud Section with Strike Force experience, prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, FBI agents, HHS-OIG agents, and Florida law enforcement officials.
This expansion portends more federal criminal investigations and prosecutions in the Orlando area. Providers, suppliers, and contractors to Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE are well advised to increase their compliance efforts, including conducting thorough review and investigation of all reports of non-compliance.
For more information on health care compliance, you may be interested in attending the 7th Annual Broad and Cassel Health Care Forum on October 11, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, at the Signature Grand, 6900 State Road 84, Davie, FL 33317. You can register at this link: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ee5i4a0kc0991444&llr=gpww5cdab&showPage=true