Each HCF Strike Force team brings together the investigative and analytical resources of the FBI and HHS-OIG, as well as our other agency partners, and the prosecutorial resources of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the United States Attorney’s Offices (USAOs), to build impactful cases in federal district courts across the country. Combining data analytics and traditional law enforcement investigative techniques, the Strike Forces have developed and adapted methods for bringing prosecutions against the worst actors in the health care field across the country. Strike Force accomplishments, including USAO accomplishments, during FY 2019 included:
- Filing 359 indictments, informations and complaints involving charges filed against 673 defendants who allegedly billed federal health care programs more than $5.1 billion;
- Obtaining 323 guilty pleas negotiated and 33 jury trials litigated, with guilty verdicts against 35 defendants; and
- Securing imprisonment for 340 defendants sentenced, averaging nearly 49 months of incarceration.
Since its inception, Strike Force prosecutors have filed more than 1,900 cases charging approximately 4,200 defendants who collectively billed the Medicare program approximately $19 billion; 2,800 defendants pleaded guilty and 361 others were convicted in jury trials; and 2,587 defendants were sentenced to imprisonment for an average term of approximately 51 months. Strike Force prosecutors also work with asset forfeiture teams to take the profit out of crime and, where possible, restrain assets that can be forfeited or liquidated and returned to the Medicare Trust Fund and other victims.
Over the years, the HCF Unit’s coordinated efforts have also contributed to reducing Medicare payments in several arenas, including, recently, after enforcement initiatives targeting (1) genetic testing laboratory fraud schemes; and (2) telemedicine scams involving medically unnecessary durable medical equipment and payment of illegal kickbacks and bribes, as demonstrated in the charts below.