KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Government Announces Fraud Collections Hit Record $5 Billion

A large portion of the money came from health care probes.

The Washington Post: Justice Dept. Recovers Record $5 Billion Under False Claims Act
The Justice Department's civil division recovered a record $5 billion in the past fiscal year from companies that defrauded taxpayers, with much of the abuse occurring in the health care and mortgage industries (Finn, 12/4).

Modern Healthcare: Feds Collect Record $4.9 Billion Under False Claims Act
Led by the record-breaking legal settlement with drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, federal collections through the civil False Claims Act exceeded all previous years, topping $4.9 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. The one-year tally by the Justice Department included settlements with mortgage lenders and military contractors, but the biggest single chunk -- more than $3 billion -- came from health care companies accused of defrauding Medicare and other government health care programs. Fiscal 2012 marked the first time that health care tallies topped $3 billion (Carlson, 12/4).

Meanwhile, federal authorities are watching for a surge in pain drugs from Canada --

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. On Alert For Canadian Drugs
The White House has alerted police and border agents to prepare for a possible influx of addictive pain drugs from Canada, where cheaper, generic versions of OxyContin will soon become available. U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske also called Canada's health minister last week to discuss the issue and offer assistance to address the wave of prescription-drug abuse sweeping both countries, Mr. Kerlikowske's office said (Barrett, Catan and Vieira, 12/4).

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