The government has created a new interagency health care fraud prevention and enforcement team, according to a May 20, 2009 announcement by Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The new interagency effort, called the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), is charged with combating Medicare Fraud. The government will also expand Strike Force team operations to in some high-risk fraud areas to fight Medicare fraud on a targeted local level.
Fraud prevention efforts are also strengthened in President Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2010 budget. The President’s budget invests $311 million – a 50 percent increase from 2009 funding – to strengthen program integrity activities within the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Combined, the anti-fraud efforts in the President’s budget could save $2.7 billion over five years by improving oversight and stopping fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, including the Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug programs, according to the announcement.