Fraud: We All Pay!
The Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force was
created during the 2010 Legislative Session to increase the
effectiveness of programs and initiatives that work to
prevent, detect and prosecute Medicaid and public assistance
fraud. CFO Atwater serves as Chair and Attorney General
Bondi serves as Vice Chair of the 11-member Strike Force.
For more than a decade, Medicaid has been the fastest
growing item in many state budgets. Florida’s Medicaid
program accounts for 25 percent, or approximately $20
billion, of the state’s budget. The level of fraud is
estimated to account for up to 10 percent of the Medicaid
budget. State economists indicate that Medicaid is the
state’s biggest cost driver, with projected increases
possibly exceeding $400 million this year. From 2005 through
2010, the Public Assistance Fraud Unit referred $18 million
in program benefits fraud for prosecution. So far this
fiscal year, the unit has received approximately 24,000
referrals for suspected public assistance fraud.
It is CFO Atwater’s goal through the Strike Force to
bring all the parties to the table to ensure that the cheats
and thieves that are taking Floridians’ hard-earned money
end up behind bars.