The Department of Health and Human Services is considering convening a Medicare and Medicaid anti-fraud summit meeting. It would be one way to reduce wasteful spending and combat fraud, a representative from the agency said last week.

Medicare and Medicaid constitute roughly $800 billion in government spending each year. Some estimates say between 3%-10% of this spending is lost to fraud. In the last fiscal year, agency investigations recovered only $4 billion, according to HHS deputy secretary William Corr. Medicaid and Medicare make up the bulk of funding for nursing homes.

By bringing together doctors, patients, insurers and law enforcement agencies in a summit meeting, the Obama administration hopes to find new ideas for ramping up efforts to prevent and detect fraud, Corr said.