The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has launched a public-private partnership among the federal government, state officials, private health insurance organisations, and other health care anti-fraud groups to prevent health care fraud.
The new partnership is designed to share information and best practices so as to improve detection and prevent payment of fraudulent health care billings.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the partnership puts criminals on notice that HSS will find them and stop them before they steal health care dollars.
"Thanks to this initiative today and the anti-fraud tools that were made available by the health care law, we are working to stamp out these crimes and abuse in our health care system," Secretary Sebelius added.
The shared information through the new partnership, which reveals and halts scams that cut across a number of public and private payers, will help law enforcement officials to identify and prevent suspicious activities, better protect patients' confidential information and use the range of tools provided by the Affordable Care Act to combat and prosecute illegal actions.
The partnership also has the ability to spot and stop payments billed to different insurers for care delivered to the same patient on the same day in two different cities.
Until the Executive Board, the Data Analysis and Review Committee, and the Information Sharing Committee hold their first meeting in September 2012, public-private working groups will continue to meet to finalise the operational structure of the partnership and develop its outline initial work plan.
HHS Attorney General Eric Holder said, "Bringing additional health care industry leaders and experts into this work will allow us to act more quickly and effectively in identifying and stopping fraud schemes, seeking justice for victims, and safeguarding our health care system."
Image: The Department of Health and Human Services headquarters in Washington, D.C., US. Photo: Matthew G. Bisanz.