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Today’s Suspension of Payments and the Affordable Care Act

Today’s suspension of payments are part of efforts that recovered $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars last year; recoveries over the last three years total $10.7 billion.

Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services has suspended payments worth an estimated $2.3 million per month to 78 Texas home health agencies suspected to be involved in an alleged fraud ring. That’s more than $27 million in hard-earned taxpayer dollars that could be saved over the next year.

The suspension of payments was part of today’s announcement that:

“A physician and the office manager of his medical practice, along with five owners of home health agencies, were arrested today on charges related to their alleged participation in a nearly $375 million health care fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for home health services.”

Today’s suspension of payments are part of efforts that recovered $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars last year, the second year recoveries hit this record breaking level.  Total recoveries over the last three years were $10.7 billion. Prosecutions are way up, too: the number of individuals charged with fraud increased from 821 in fiscal year 2008 to 1,430 in fiscal year 2011 – nearly a 75 percent increase.

In addition to cracking down on fraud, we are also taking aggressive steps to cut payment errors in Medicare and Medicaid. We dramatically reduced the government-wide rate of improper payments in fiscal year 2011, including significant reductions in every Medicare and Medicaid program. All told, we have avoided over $20 billion in improper payments over the past two years, as part of our efforts to reduce waste and error across government through the Obama Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste.

Read more about how the Affordable Care Act is helping the Obama Administration fight fraud here.