But no matter what type of Medicare fraud is committed or where, there is one common denominator - greed. These people rob Medicare of precious dollars by fraudulently billing for services neither rendered nor needed. And when someone sends fraudulent bills to Medicare, they are stealing American taxpayer dollars that are intended to help those most in need.
Medicare fraud is not a victimless crime: it hurts our most vulnerable citizens, who rely on Medicare for essential medical care, and it hurts every American taxpayer, by raising the cost of health care. We must be vigilant and aggressive in fighting this particular crime.
And that is why the Strike Force model is so important to our efforts to both prosecute existing crime and deter future crime.
Rather than waiting for people to tell us fraud is happening, we're coming to the criminals and stopping fraud as it occurs.
By using data analysis to identify "hot spots" for Medicare fraud, we can target our resources and deploy the Strike Force where it can most effectively supplement the efforts already underway by U.S. Attorneys' Offices around the country.
The Medicare data gives us an idea where to go, but data analysis is the beginning of the process, not the endgame.
Once we're up and running in a city, we use traditional law enforcement techniques to build the cases and bring them as quickly as possible - to stop ongoing fraud and maximize the deterrent impact.
And we are holding Medicare fraudsters accountable - nearly 200 defendants in our Strike Force cases have been sentenced to prison.
The average sentence for these defendants exceeds 45 months - that's more than 20 percent higher than the overall national average sentence in federal health care fraud cases over the last five years.
Since it started two and a half years ago, the Strike Force teams have ind
|SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice|
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