In a recent interview published in the AARP Bulletin, Attorney General Jeff Sessions opined that “the Department of Justice should continue aggressively pursuing health care fraudsters, either criminally or civilly, and holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” Sessions also expressed concern that “our traditional systems aren’t aggressive enough.” Sessions also acknowledged that more than 10% of Medicare payments are lost to fraud and waste. Sessions addressed various aspects of Medicare fraud, giving particular attention to opioid abuse and schemes targeting the elderly. On the former, Sessions touted his formation of an Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, which uses “data analytics to identify providers with aberrant billing patterns.” As to scams geared at senior citizens, Sessions posited that “more criminal prosecutions” are needed.
Despite Sessions’ enthusiasm for returning ill-gotten Medicare gains to the public fisc, under his leadership, the Department of Justice has declined to intervene in, and even withdrawn from, several notable whistleblower cases alleging fraudulent billing. The Trump administration also has scaled back fines for nursing home in cases involving resident harm.
* * *If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.