HHS and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have initiated several programs to enhance awareness of health care compliance requirements and enforcement efforts and to significantly increase the resources devoted to detecting fraud and abuse in the health care industry:

 

  • On February 17, 2011, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force carried out a nationwide operation, charging 111 individuals in nine cities with participation in alleged Medicare-fraud schemes involving more than $225 million. On the same day, the OIG announced that the Strike Force was being expanded to include Dallas and Chicago, in addition to the seven cities/regions previously covered (Baton Rouge, Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami-Dade County, and Tampa Bay).
  • On February 15, 2011, HHS and DOJ announced that 20 individuals had been charged with various health care fraud, kickback, and money-laundering schemes involving approximately $200 million in south Florida.
  • On February 14, 2011, President Obama released the FY 2012 Budget Proposal, which includes $581 million for Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control. This amount represents an increase of $270 million from the amount allocated in FY 2010.
  • On February 3, 2011, the OIG launched its "Most Wanted Fugitives" list, which provides photographs and profiles of individuals sought by law enforcement authorities on charges of health care fraud and abuse. There are currently more than 170 fugitives on the list.
  • On January 31, 2011, the OIG announced that it would offer free Provider Compliance Training as part of its Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) program. HEAT is a multiagency federal initiative that was launched in May 2009 and combines resources from HHS and DOJ to combat fraud in Medicaid and Medicare programs. Addressing similar issues, the OIG released "A Roadmap for New Physicians: Avoiding Medicare and Medicaid Fraud and Abuse" in October 2010 and supplemented this with additional materials released in February 2011.