LOST MONEY

Medicare billing errors, excessive payments and fraud have cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars over the past decade. Medicare's annual estimates, however, do not account for all fraud nationwide.

FRAUD PROSECUTIONS

Federal prosecutors in South Florida scratched the surface of Medicare fraud in the 1990s. But it wasn't until a few years ago that they began to crack down on the corruption. Today the region's prosecutions account for more than one-third of all Medicare fraud cases nationwide.

SOURCES: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami and the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

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