U.S. Attorney's Office Announces Meeting Of The Western District's Health Care Fraud Working Group
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. Attorney Dena J. King announced a meeting of the Western District’s Health Care Fraud Working Group, which focuses on combating health care fraud in the Western District of North Carolina.
The working group is a multi-agency team of federal and state investigators, analysts, auditors, and attorneys with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the North Carolina Attorney General’s Medicaid Investigations Division, and the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
At today’s meeting of the working group, U.S. Attorney King welcomed partner agencies and thanked agency representatives for their participation.
“Today, we strengthen an important partnership to combat health care fraud in the Western District of North Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney King. “As health care fraud schemes increase in scope and sophistication, we are vigorously responding to this escalating crime with innovative and well-coordinated investigative efforts to identify and prosecute fraud effectively and efficiently. I want to thank all the partner agencies for dedicating their resources and expertise to the working group. This is an important step in our fight to protect taxpayer dollars, shield government-funded health care programs from fraud and abuse, hold bad actors responsible for their misdeeds, and deter future misconduct.”
The mission of the working group is to identify and bring to justice those who defraud the health care system and reduce the potential for health care fraud and abuse in the future. The working group focuses on the coordination of cases, information sharing, identification of trends in health care fraud throughout the region, staffing of all whistle blower complaints, and the creation of investigative teams so that individual agencies may focus their unique areas of expertise on investigations.
Examples of joint investigations include false billings, COVID-19 fraud, violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, and other schemes that victimize patients, health care providers, private insurers and government insurers, such as Medicare, TRICARE, and Medicaid. The working group also focuses on fraud committed by both corporate and individual defendants, including hospitals, telemedicine companies and providers, nursing home chains, pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers, durable medical equipment suppliers, individual physicians, therapists, and affiliated health care professionals.
The working group builds upon existing partnerships between the agencies and its work reflects a heightened effort to reduce health care fraud and recover taxpayer dollars.
If you suspect Medicare or Medicaid fraud, please report it by phone at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477), or via email at HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov. To report Medicaid fraud in North Carolina, call the North Carolina Medicaid Investigations Division at 919-881-2320 or fill out an online complaint form. TRICARE fraud can be reported here. Fraud against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system can be reported at www.vaoig.gov/hotline.