WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – A new initiative to combat health care fraud in West Virginia was launched today in Wheeling, according to United States Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld.

State and federal agencies gathered at the U.S. Attorney’s office Tuesday for the first meeting of the Mountaineer Health Care Fraud Strike Force, a unit that will take a data-driven approach to uncovering waste and abuse. Representatives from seven different agencies discussed fraudulent billing patterns and new targets were identified as a result.

In addition to its analytical work, the Strike Force will engage with providers and insurers so that there is a better understanding on how to recognize and report health care fraud.

Ihlenfeld stressed the importance of whistleblowers and the impact that they can have upon uncovering fraud.

Last year, a whistleblower was awarded $10 million in the matter of U.S. ex rel. Longo v. Wheeling Hospital, Inc. Read more here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndwv/pr/west-virginia-hospital-agrees-pay-50-million-settle-allegations-concerning-improper

A new hotline, email address and mailing address have been established to allow for the reporting of potential fraud. Anyone with information may call (304) 234-7711, send an email to [email protected], or mail correspondence to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.