The government says it recovered almost $8 for each dollar it spent investigating health care fraud over the past three years, including a record $4.2 billion last year.
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The $7.90 average return on investment is the highest in the 16-year history of the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Program. Since 1997, the program -- a joint effort of the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services -- has returned more than $23 billion to the Medicare trust funds.
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Overall, the Justice Department opened more than 1,100 criminal health care fraud investigations last year involving 2,148 potential defendants. More than 800 defendants were convicted of health care fraud-related crimes during the year and the department opened nearly 900 new civil investigations.