Published: Jan 24, 2011 6:27 PM EST
Updated: Jan 24, 2011 3:20 PM EST

MIAMI (AP) - Federal health officials plan to announce new security measures to combat Medicare fraud, including tougher screenings for providers and the ability to withhold payments during investigations.

The Affordable Care Act will also allow authorities more power to combat fraud and end the antiquated "pay and chase" system authorities say has kept them "one step behind criminals."

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was expected to make the announcement Monday. Officials also said they recovered $2.5 billion in health care fraud court judgments last year, a record high. 

Experts say the solution to solving the nation's estimated $60 billion to $90 billion a year Medicare fraud problem lies in keeping fraudulent providers out of the system in the first place.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)