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Feds Recover $2.5 Billion In Health Care Fraud

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(Source: AP) Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

(Source: AP) Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

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MIAMI (CBS4) – MIAMI (CBS4) – New security measures announced Monday will combat Medicare fraud that will include tougher screenings for providers and the ability to withhold payments during investigations.

The noon announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will outline how the implementation of The Affordable Care Act provides authorities with more clout in combating fraud. It is anticipated to help end a “pay and chase” system that has kept authorities one step behind criminals.

There were more than three million Medicare subscribers in Florida in 2010, making up 18 percent of Florida residents and seven percent of Medicare patents nationally, according the Statehealthfacts.org.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reported in July that 94 people who were charged for allegedly planning to defraud Medicare of $251 million by filing phony claims.

Those indictments were part of an orchestrated crackdown in five major U.S. cities, including Miami, where the nation’s first healthcare summit was held.

Experts say the solution to solving the nation’s estimated $60 billion to $90 billion a year Medicare fraud problem lies in keeping fraudulent providers out of the system in the first place.

Officials said they recovered $2.5 billion in health care fraud court judgments last year – a record high.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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