Feds recover $4.1B in health care fraud in 2011

By KELLI KENNEDY | February 13, 2012 | 6:15 PM EST

MIAMI (AP) — Federal authorities say they recovered $4.1 billion in health care fraud judgments last year.

Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are expected to make the announcement Tuesday.

But federal officials told The Associated Press that agencies are doing a better job of screening providers before they get in the system and have beefed up enrollment requirements. Higher risk providers are also subject to fingerprint and criminal background checks.

Authorities have long said the solution to solving the nation's estimated $60 billion to $90 billion a year Medicare fraud problem lies in vigorously screening providers and stopping payment to suspicious ones.