HEAT Task Force
Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT)
In May 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) created the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT). With its creation, the fight against Medicare fraud became a Cabinet-level priority. HEAT’s work is directed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder.
- To gather resources across the government to help prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
- To crack down on the people and organizations who abuse the system and cost Americans billions of dollars each year.
- To reduce health care costs and improve quality of care by preventing fraudsters from preying on people with Medicare and Medicaid. Learn more about protecting yourself against Medicare fraud.
- To highlight best practices by providers and organizations dedicated to ending waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare.
- To build upon the existing partnerships between HHS and DOJ to reduce fraud and recover taxpayer dollars.
- Between 2008 and 2011, HEAT actions led to a 75% increase in individuals charged with criminal health care fraud.
- Since 2007, HEAT’s Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a multi-agency group of investigators designed to fight Medicare fraud, has charged more than 1,400 defendants who collectively falsely billed the Medicare program more than $4.8 billion.
- In 2011, HEAT coordinated the largest-ever federal health care fraud takedown involving $530 million in fraudulent billing.
Expanding the Medicare fraud strike force
The joint DOJ-HHS Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a multi-agency team of federal, state, and local investigators designed to fight Medicare fraud. The Force uses Medicare data analysis techniques and an increased focus on community policing to combat fraud.
The Medicare Fraud Strike Force has recently expanded to include nine cities:
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Brooklyn, New York
- Chicago, Illinois
- Dallas, Texas
- Detroit, Michigan
- Houston, Texas
- Los Angeles, California
- Miami –Dade, Florida
- Tampa Bay, Florida