On May 20, 2009, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the assignment of US Department of Justice (DOJ) Health Care Strike Forces to Detroit.
The strike force is a multi-agency team of federal, state and local prosecutors and agents designed specifically to combat Medicare fraud through the use of real-time analysis of Medicare billing data.
The strike force teams are led by a federal prosecutor who works with a team of four to six agents, at least one agent from the FBI and HHS Office of Inspector General, as well as representatives of local law enforcement.
To date, the Health Care Strike Forces have filed criminal charges against 196 defendants, the majority of which have been resolved through guilty pleas.
The selection of Detroit and Houston was reportedly based on a review of Medicare claims data suggesting high levels of billing irregularities.