Federal health officials announced new security measures Monday to combat Medicare fraud, including tougher screenings for providers and the ability to withhold payments during investigations.
Authorities recovered $4 billion in health care fraud judgments last year - a record high up 50 percent from 2009 - according to a new report.
Authorities have long said the solution to solving the nation's estimated $60 billion to $90 billion a year Medicare fraud problem lies in vigorously screening providers and stopping payment to suspicious ones, ending the antiquated "pay and chase" system authorities say has kept them one step behind criminals.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius touted the Affordable Care Act as one of the toughest anti-fraud laws in history.
"The days when you could just hang out a shingle and start billing the government are over," she said.