Fraud investigations are on the rise

Anti-fraud funding will increase 15% annually

The U.S. Department of Justice has released a report on the government’s crackdown on health care fraud and abuse. According to the published numbers, their efforts are paying off in an increased number of investigations and convictions.

"Health care fraud is the crime of the nineties; fraudulent schemes are ever changing and growing more sophisticated," the August report states. The Justice Department is working with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and scores of state and local agencies.

Spending increases projected

The Justice Department plans to increase spending to root out fraud and abuse. The Kennedy-Kassebaum bill provides up to $104 million in fiscal 1997 for health care enforcement; that amount is slated to rise 15% annually before it is capped in 2003.

(See a scorecard of enforcement achievements thus far and projected enforcement spending, above.)