Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday pledged intensive and imaginative efforts to what he called the “devastating effects of health care fraud.”
“As we work to address a problem that – quite frankly – has reached crisis proportions, we will continue to rely on your unique insights – and your ongoing engagement,” Holder told a gathering of federal, state and local officials at what the Department of Justice called a “fraud prevention summit” in Detroit, described by Holder as one of the “hot spots” for health care fraud.
“Here, and across America, these crimes are driving up health care costs for everyone – and also hurting the long term solvency of our essential Medicare and Medicaid programs,” Holder said in a speech.
Accompanying Holder was Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, who said people in her department, like those at the Department of Justice, were committed to “meeting our obligation to taxpayers, and standing up to criminals who, in the past, have gotten away with far too much.”
One who didn’t get away with it, Holder said, was a doctor from nearby Farmington Hills who was caught in “a brazen scheme to bribe Medicare beneficiaries and to bill the government millions of dollars for therapies that were never provided.” He was ordered to pay more than $9 million in restitution – and sentenced to 14 years in prison.