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Obama administration claims record $4.1 billion in Medicare fraud savings

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"The Obama Administration is doing more to stop fraud before it happens," HHS Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusBiden seeks to use the bully pulpit he has on COVID-19 Biden unveils COVID-19 task force Biden's COVID-19 crisis team takes shape as virus rages MORE said in a blog post announcing the report. "For example, before this Administration a fraudster could swindle Medicare for millions of dollars in Florida, close up shop, move to Detroit, and attempt to reestablish the same scheme without ever being noticed. Now, [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] and Department of Justice officials are tracking fraud scams as they move across the country, so that criminals are spotted when they try to re-enroll into Medicare or Medicaid."

The release of the new report comes the same day as the administration proposed new regulations setting a deadline for Medicare providers and suppliers to report and return self-identified overpayments. Before passage of the healthcare reform law, providers did not face an explicit deadline for returning taxpayers' money.

"Any failure to report and return the overpayment within the applicable time frame could be a violation of the False Claims Act," the Medicare agency warned in a memo to congressional staffers, explaining the new regulation. "Providers also could be subject to civil monetary penalties or excluded from participating in federal health care programs for failure to report and return an overpayment."