The Justice Department Gets Back $8 For Every Dollar It Spends On Health Care Fraud Investigations

In yet another victory against medical fraudsters, federal officials running the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Program have been getting an average of $7.90 in returns for every dollar spent on health care fraud investigations — an all-time record.

As the Huffington Post reports, “the Justice Department opened more than 1,100 criminal health care fraud investigations last year involving 2,148 potential defendants, and over 800 defendants “were convicted of health care fraud-related crimes during the year and the department opened nearly 900 new civil investigations.”

Cutting down on Medicare and other health care fraud has been a top priority for the Obama Administration, and so far their efforts have been paying off. Last year, the Justice Department carried out one of the largest Medicare fraud busts in history, and the agency collected a record $3 billion in settlements from physicians and pharmaceutical companies under the auspices of the False Claims Act last year.

Fraud and abuse is an enormous source of waste in health care spending, with some studies estimating that it accounts for anywhere between a third and half of national health expenditures. Much of the initial projected savings in Obamacare stems from combating fraud — it would appear that, so far, those projections are correct.