Several state and federal areas of law enforcement are focusing antifraud efforts in geographic areas at high risk for Medicare fraud, including South Florida. In 2007, the Government launched in South Florida a Medicare Fraud Strike Force (Strike Force) made up of staff from The Office of Inspector General (OIG), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and DOJ. The Strike Force’s mission is to identify, investigate, and prosecute DME suppliers and infusion clinics suspected of Medicare fraud. As of April 17, 2009, the Strike Force has convicted 146 of its targets and secured $186 million in criminal fines and civil recoveries.
OIG uses a range of administrative sanctions, including civil money penalties (CMP) and program exclusions, as an adjunct to criminal and civil enforcement. OIG has identified a number of enhancements to these administrative authorities that, if mandated by Congress, would increase our ability to address emerging schemes, such as authorizing CMPs for the intentional submission of erroneous data used to set Medicare payment and a CMP for the ordering or prescribing of items or services by an excluded person.
Our firm is only investigating claims in which a business entity, such as a company or medical practice, is submitting false claims to a governmental entity in excess of $500,000. We do not handle cases involving individuals receiving government benefits under false pretenses. (For example, we do not handle claims in which a person falsely claims disability in order to receive government benefits. ) For these claims, you should contact the appropriate governmental agency directly, such as a state medicare-fraud hot line, and report the fraud. Regarding tax fraud, we are only handling cases in which the underpayment of taxes exceeds $2 Million, and the income of the person committing tax fraud exceeds $200,000 per year.