DOJ likely to keep up scrutiny on individuals in healthcare fraud cases

The Department of Justice isn't likely to lighten up on individual executives as it investigates and prosecutes healthcare fraud cases, according to one official.

In 2015, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates proposed a plan to hold individuals more responsible in fraud cases. During comments at the Health Care Compliance Association's Compliance Institute on Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Tarra R. DeShields noted that the Yates memo will continue to drive individual accountability in fraud cases.

DeShields added that it would be “prudent to assume that the Yates memo principles” will stick around under the new administration, according to Bloomberg BNA. Yates was fired by President Donald Trump in January after she ordered the Justice Department not to enforce his travel ban.

The longevity of the Yates memo was previously predicted by attorneys and former DOJ officials, who noted that individual accountability “hasn't been a partisan issue” and that Attorney General Jeff Sessions “has historically been tough on white-collar crime.”

Experts also believed that the department's crackdown on post-acute care fraud and abuse would continue, due to the sector's vulnerability.

Investigations into potential fraud cases and scrutiny on providers appears to remain a top priority under the new administration, as President Donald Trump's proposed budget plan for fiscal year 2018 included a $70 million boost in funding for the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control program.