Federal health care fraud prosecutions in the first eight months of 2011 are on pace to rise 85% over last year due in large part to ramped-up enforcement efforts under the Obama administration, reports USA Today. The statistics, released by the non-partisan Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, show 903 prosecutions so far this year. That’s a 24% increase over the total for all of fiscal year 2010, when 731 people were prosecuted for health fraud through federal agencies across the country.
Prosecutions have gone up 71% from five years ago, according to TRAC, a research organization at Syracuse University. Justice Department officials said the increase runs parallel with what they’re seeing when looking at health care fraud broadly, in part because of a couple of big busts this year, as well as several cases involving fraud in the private sector. For example, a February case brought in 111 people — the largest take-down to date for the Medicare Fraud Task Force. In that case, doctors, nurses and executives were accused of falsely billing Medicare more than $225 million.