As we discussed here, the government continues to improve its use of data analytics to identify and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in the health care industry. This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that its Fraud Prevention System (FPS) has identified and prevented $820 million in improper Medicare payments in its first three years of operation. CMS stated that the FPS “helps to identify questionable billing patterns in real time and can review past patterns that may indicate fraud”, which allows CMS to, among other things, revoke provider payments, withdraw provider enrollment in Medicare, and/or refer appropriate matters to law enforcement for further investigation.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently certified the “positive return on investment” from the FPS and recommended its continued operation, although the OIG determined that it was not feasible at this time to expand the FPS program to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Also last month, several members of Congress asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide additional information regarding the GAO’s review of the FPS, including expansion of the program to Medicaid and CHIP.