Medicare Fraud Strike Force Takedown Press Conference

By:  Kathleen Sebelius
Date: May 14, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Thank you, Attorney General Holder. Today's takedown is the latest sign we're turning the tide on Medicare fraud with greater collaboration and a stronger commitment than ever before.

Attorney General Holder just described how our law enforcement measures have increased anti-fraud prosecutions and led to record recoveries. We've done so by coordinating across agencies. We've pooled resources and shared the tools at our disposal.

And this takedown clearly shows that the Affordable Care Act is one of the best tools we have to preserve Medicare and protect the tens of millions of Americans who rely on it each day.

One of the most important ways the law made a difference in these cases is by expanding our authority to suspend Medicare payments and reimbursements when fraud is suspected -- to better preserve the system and save taxpayer dollars.

Because of the law, we can now suspend Medicare payments and reimbursements when there are credible allegations of fraud. It's a broader authority that helps us aggressively suspend payments and get results faster than in the past.

And the power to suspend payments is just one of the many common sense measures in the Affordable Care Act that make it harder for criminals to submit fraudulent Medicare claims and get paid in the first place.

We're able to stop criminals earlier through license checks and unannounced site visits that screen providers and suppliers who pose a high risk of fraud and abuse. The law increases penalties for Medicare fraud -- criminals now face tougher sentences and longer jail time for fraud and for obstructing a fraud investigation.

And the law supports our other tools that use advanced technology, like predictive and data analytics, to better identify where Medicare fraud and abuse is happening the most.

It's clear that the Affordable Care Act safeguards Medicare as the sacred trust and guarantee that it is to our seniors who have spent a lifetime paying into it.

And while we know the range of ways criminals seek to violate that trust and shatter that guarantee, the takedown shows the range of ways we're fighting back -- and beating them.

Today's announcement is yet another great result of a partnership that's protecting the health of our seniors and families, and the pocketbooks of American taxpayers.

And we're sending a strong, clear message to anyone seeking to defraud Medicare: You will get caught and you will pay the price. We will protect a sacred trust and an earned guarantee.

I'll stop there and turn it over to Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, Mythili Raman, who will provide more details on the takedown.

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