On November 22, 2010, Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, announced record-breaking statistics for healthcare fraud recoveries—$2.5 billion in health care fraud recoveries during fiscal year 2010, $4.6 billion in False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries from January 2009 through September 2010, and more than $3 billion in fines, forfeitures, restitution and disgorgement under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act from January 2009 through September 2010.

Health care fraud made up 83% of fiscal year 2010’s total civil fraud recoveries. Additionally, of the total $3 billion in recoveries for fiscal year 2010, $2.3 billion was recovered in lawsuits brought by whistleblowers under the FCA’s qui tam provisions. Assistant Attorney General West highlighted recent fraud enforcement efforts, including the interagency Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), “additional improvements to the False Claims Act and other fraud statutes” made by the passage of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, and the passage of “additional provisions to aid the Government in redressing fraud on the nation’s health care system” in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). He specifically highlighted PPACA’s revisions to the FCA’s public disclosure bar and the Anti-Kickback Statute.

These statistics underscore the significant focus of regulators in investigating and prosecuting health care fraud allegations and likely will further encourage whistleblowers to bring claims under the FCA. DOJ’s press release is available by clicking here.