Wednesday's arrests come as top lawmakers appealed to health care professionals in the private sector to help combat Medicare fraud. Six members of the Senate Finance Committee, led by Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), announced a bipartisan effort to begin soliciting ideas from interested stakeholders in the health care community looking for a fresh perspective and potentially solutions that may have been overlooked.
"To date, numerous efforts have been made to reduce fraud, yielding a mixed record of successes and failures," according to the letter.
Sebelius said her agency and the Justice Department have more than quadrupled the number of strike teams around the country, charging hundreds of individuals with Medicare fraud.
Medicare fraud has been a hot button issue as federal officials have repeatedly come under fire for seemingly staying one step behind the criminals, using outdated technology and not coordinating efficiently with law enforcement.
But Sebelius touted a new data system that will allow authorities to spot trends in billing patterns more quickly, which will ideally stop payments before they go out the door.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched a $77 million computer system last summer to serve that purpose, but the program has yielded few results in the early stages and drawn criticism from the Senate Finance Committee.
Yost reported from Washington.
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