Under Holder, who announced last week that he is stepping down, the Justice Department ramped up legal efforts to prevent and penalize fraud. Those enforcement efforts have sometimes angered industry groups that say the feds have been overzealous. “There has been ever-increasing scrutiny of compliance … in every stage of the business cycle,” said Larry Freedman, an attorney at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, who worked at Justice from 1991 to 2004.
In fiscal 2013, HHS and Justice recovered $4.3 billion from fraud cases. Over the past four years, that total was more than $19 billion.
Holder frequently praised the government's Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team, known as the HEAT initiative. The efforts of Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams in nine cities have led to several large criminal fraud busts.