Federal prosecutors increase focus on health care fraud
Federal prosecutors reached a multimillion-dollar, out-of-court settlement this week with a Jackson cardiologist in a health care fraud case.
It’s the latest in a string of Medicare and Medicaid fraud cases in Michigan. Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Michigan have filed nearly 300 charges of health care fraud during the past five years. Half the time, defendants have pled guilty or were convicted. And the pace of prosecutions has picked up during the past few years.
“I imagine fraud has been there, undetected, for a long time,” says Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney in Detroit, “but now that we’re turning over every stone, we’re finding fraud everywhere we look.”
McQuade says the new federal health care law taking effect next year may help reduce fraud, but she adds there will always be people looking for holes in the system.