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Fraud Press Conference

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February 17, 2011
Washington, DC

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Thank you, Attorney General Holder. It has been a privilege to join forces with you and your team at Justice over the last two years to keep criminals out of our health care system.

I want to thank FBI Director Robert Mueller, HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson, and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer for their leadership

And I want to recognize the countless public servants -- investigators, attorneys, and law enforcement including a record number of OIG agents, more than 300 -- who participated in the massive takedown we’re announcing today.

Today’s news is the culmination of a lot of hard work and an unprecedented level of collaboration across government, in cities across the country.

Under the HEAT partnership that Attorney General Holder described we’re sharing information, spotting trends, coordinating strategy, and developing new fraud prevention tools.

As Attorney General Holder pointed out, over the last two years we have more than quadrupled the number of anti-fraud Strike Force teams operating in fraud hot spots around the country from two to nine -- with the latest additions Chicago and Dallas -- bringing hundreds of charges against criminals who had billed Medicare for hundreds of millions of dollars.

And it’s paying off. Last year alone, our partnership recovered a record $4 billion on behalf of taxpayers. From 2008 to 2010, every dollar the Federal Government spent under its Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control programs averaged a return on investment of $6.80.

We’ve also been recruiting new partners. In 2010, we held health care fraud prevention summits in Washington DC, Miami, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Boston, and there are more to come in 2011 in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and Detroit.

Last March, we got some help when Congress passed and the President signed the Affordable Care Act -- one of the strongest health care anti-fraud bills in American history.

Just last month, we announced new rules under the health care law that include new screening and enforcement measures to help keep bad actors out of our programs.

When it comes to programs like Medicare and Medicaid that tens of millions of Americans count on every day, we have a responsibility to make every dollar count – especially at a time when so many families are doing the same.

That’s why the 2012 budget request that President Obama released on Monday includes new support for our health care fraud prevention efforts.

For example, the new budget proposal would allow us to expand the very successful Strike Force model to even more locations across the country.

This is the kind of investment we know pays off by making our health care system stronger, more responsive, and less vulnerable to costly criminals and scam artists.

For decades, our fight against fraud and abuse in health care has been a bipartisan effort. If we are to truly win this fight, we will need to continue to stand united against the crooks who would rob the Medicare trust fund.

I remain hopeful that even in this new environment we will be able to come together. We have, and we will continue moving forward to strengthen our system for the next generation.

Now, I’m pleased to welcome FBI Director Robert Mueller…