Virginia wins national award for investigations of healthcare fraud

healthcareLast week, the Office of Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit received its second national award of the year when the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund presented the unit with its “Honest Abe” Integrity in Government Award at its annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Since 2006, the award has been presented to individuals and organizations that combat fraud against government funds through the use of False Claims Act laws and other anti-fraud measures that promote the public-private partnership between the government and whistleblowers. Virginia’s MFCU was previously named the nation’s top unit by the U.S. Department of Health Office of the Inspector General.

“We will root out fraud and abuse wherever we find it in the Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Mark R. Herring. “When healthcare providers divert public funds for their private benefit, they are stealing from all of us and undermining an important system that connects thousands of low-income Virginians with needed medical services. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the professionals in our MFCU, and congratulate them on this well-deserved honor.”

The Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the Attorney General was certified in 1982 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The MFCU has a staff of 96 employees, including criminal investigators, auditors, attorneys and support staff who work together to develop investigations and prosecute cases. The Virginia MFCU works regularly with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to combat fraud, protect seniors and other Virginians enrolled in the Medicaid program, and save taxpayer dollars.

In the 2013/2014 fiscal year, the Virginia MFCU had $61,702,764.48 in state and federal court-ordered restitution, fines and penalties from healthcare providers who defrauded, or attempted to defraud, the Medicaid program. Since 1982, the MFCU has more than $1.8 billion in ordered criminal and civil recoveries.

Previous recipients of the “Honest Abe” award include congressmen, senators, state attorneys general, U.S. Attorneys, and inspectors general.

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