(WASHINGTON) -- Last year was the biggest ever for shutting down efforts to scam federal health care programs. Prosecutors recovered a record-setting $4 billion from hundreds of crooks, big and small.
“The subjects of our investigations include traditional fraudsters, health care providers, corporate executives, hospital systems and administrators and members of organized crime,” said FBI Assistant Director Kevin Perkins at a news conference in Washington Monday.
Federal officials also announced new rules to make it harder for would-be criminals to defraud the government in the future.
“The days when you could just hang out a shingle and start billing the government are over,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Among the new rules, which are part of the health care law the House voted last week to repeal, is one that allows Medicare to stop all payments to a provider the moment a credible complaint about fraud has been received. This may terrify executives at some big corporations that sell billions of dollars' worth of drugs, devices and services to the federal government. Major companies like Novartis, AstraZeneca and Allergan, for example, were the subjects of successful fraud investigations last year.
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