New initiative will combat healthcare fraud in West Virginia

January 19, 2022 GMT

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Officials have launched a new initiative to combat health care fraud in West Virginia, U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said.

State and federal agencies gathered at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wheeling on Tuesday for the first meeting of the Mountaineer Health Care Fraud Strike Force, news outlets reported citing a statement from Ihlenfeld. The unit will use data to uncover waste and abuse.

Representatives from seven agencies discussed fraudulent billing patterns and identified new targets, Ihlenfeld said. The strike force also will engage with providers and insurers to gain a better understanding on recognizing and reporting health care fraud, he said.

“The time I spent in the private sector opened my eyes to the scope of the health care fraud that is occurring in West Virginia,” Ihlenfeld said. “It made me realize that more can and should be done by law enforcement, which is why this new group has been formed.”