On May 18, 2017, Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Criminal Division addressed attendees at the American Bar Association 27th Annual Institute on Health Care Fraud, focusing on the problem of health care fraud Blanco began by announcing that “health care fraud is a priority for the Department of Justice” and stated that “[t]he investigation and prosecution of health care fraud will continue” and “the department will be vigorous in its pursuit of those who violate the law in this area.” Blanco then discussed the work of the Justice Department in combatting health care fraud. Blanco started by giving a summary of the Health Care Fraud Unit, which “employs about 56 prosecutors focused solely on prosecuting complex health care fraud cases throughout the United States.” Blanco noted that since 2007 the Health Care Fraud Unit has used the Medicare Fraud Strike Forces model. The Medicare Fraud Strike Forces, Blanco explained, are located across the country in “‘hot spot’ cities, or ones with high levels of billing fraud” and are staffed by Health Care Fraud Unit attorneys. Blanco stated that “[s]ince its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged nearly 3,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $11 billion” and has “reached resolutions totaling $512 million paid to U.S. and state authorities.” Blanco stressed the importance of the “the cooperative partnerships between the Strike Forces, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and several investigative agencies” as well as the Strike Forces’ “wide array of investigative and prosecutorial tools,” including an in-house data analytics team. Blanco concluded by discussing several matters that the Health Care Fraud Unit has been working on, including a global resolution with Tenet Healthcare Corporation that was entered into in October of 2016.

DOJ Press Release