MIAMI — Federal authorities say they recovered $4.1 billion in health care fraud judgments last year, a record high which officials on Monday credited to new tools for cracking down on deceitful Medicare claims.

The recovered funds are up roughly 50 percent from 2009. Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were expected to make the announcement at a news conference Tuesday.

The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services told The Associated Press that agencies are doing a better job of screening providers before they get in the system and have beefed up enrollment requirements. Now investigators are conducting site visits to make sure moderate risk providers have a legitimate office. Higher risk providers are also subject to fingerprint and criminal background checks.

via Health Care Fraud Judgments: Federal Authorities Recovered $4.1 Billion In 2011.