The government collected more than $50 million in judgments from skilled nursing facilities in 2018, up dramatically from $1.8 million in the previous year, according to a new report.

The Office of the Inspector General released its annual report Monday on fraud in the Medicaid program. In addition to the vast increase in SNF recovery payments, Medicaid Fraud Control Units tripled criminal convictions of SNF operators in 2018 for resident abuse and neglect — at 24 — compared to 2017.

The units also earned twice as many judgments against nursing facilities, with 21 in 2018, compared to 10 the prior year.

The aggressive findings indicates how, in December, an OIG report said addressing “substandard nursing home care” is one of the top performance challenges facing Health and Human Services.

“Healthcare providers such as nursing homes, group homes, and hospices have continued to experience issues with ensuring quality of care and safety for vulnerable individuals. HHS has not always acted to correct deficiencies in these facilities,” the report stated.

All told, the OIG collected $1.3 million from resident abuse and neglect civil recoveries from SNFs in 2018, up from $370,000 the previous year. Criminal recoveries from the office surged markedly to $12.3 million this past year, up from $179,507 in 2017. Fraud civil recoveries climbed to more than $36 million from the $1.2 million tally in the year prior.

The OIG said that it closed out 2018 with 1,132 open investigations against nursing facilities, compared to 942 at the end of 2017. Click here to read the full report.