The federal health reform law calls for the use of advanced data analysis tools and other new technologies to detect and prevent Medicare and Medicaid fraud, according to a report released Thursday by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder, Healthcare IT News reports.
At the report's release, HHS and Department of Justice officials said a new CMS program called the Center for Program Integrity would help implement the anti-fraud provisions of the reform law by using sophisticated techniques to uncover improper payments. Officials said CMS also would work with the private health care sector to combat fraud.
In addition, officials said new anti-fraud efforts would build on the success of existing initiatives such as the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, also known as the HEAT task forces.
Report Details Last Year's Successes
The report notes that efforts by the federal government to eliminate Medicare fraud produced $2.51 billion for the program's trust fund in fiscal 2009, a 29% increase from the previous year.
The report also found that anti-fraud efforts helped return $441 million in federal Medicaid funds, a 28% increase over the 2008 amount (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 5/14).