Medicaid Fraud Team Recovers Millions

Investigators helped recover more than $74 million dollars in taxpayer money involving Medicaid fraud in Florida this past fiscal year, an increase of more than 75% from the previous year.

A state report released yesterday showed the state terminated 194 providers from participating in Medicaid in fiscal year 2005-2006, up from 28 during fiscal year 2004-05.

Both the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and the state Attorney General's Office have units investigating fraud in Florida's 15 billion dollar Medicaid system.

The teams investigate fraud involving doctors, nursing homes, pharmacies, medical equipment companies and other providers. Some of the crimes include overbilling or billing the government for services not provided.

Since 2003, the state fraud units made more than 200 arrests, resulting in 123 convictions.

Local state attorneys prosecute those arrested, and civil suits also are pursued.