The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released its Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report (the “Report”). The Report’s findings highlight 1,553 convictions, 731 civil settlements, and $744 million in criminal and civil recoveries relating to Medicaid fraud and abuse. Fraud and Abuse financial recoveries remain a top priority for the Federal Government and hence a primary objective of Federal law enforcement. Our Georgia business and healthcare law firm follows developments in the world of healthcare law, including fraud and abuse issues.
The Social Security Act (SSA) mandates that, absent certain circumstances, each State operate a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). The District of Columbia and forty-nine States currently maintain MFCUs. MFCUs are one of many Federal law enforcement tools in its fraud and abuse arsenal. The statutory mission of MFCUs is to investigate and prosecute Medicaid fraud by health care providers and patient abuse and neglect. HHS’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) certifies, provides oversight of, and assesses performance relative to Federal compliance standards of all MFCUs. The States are responsible for operation of MFCUs and receive reimbursement for a percentage of their costs from the Federal Government, pursuant to the SSA. MFCUs are currently reimbursed for 90% of their costs for the first three years of their operation and 75% thereafter.
Each MFCU employs staff that comprise investigator(s), auditor(s) and attorney(s) to review referrals of potential fraud and abuse involving Medicaid and to make decisions regarding potential civil and/or criminal prosecution. The Report essentially provides the latest annual update on the success of MFCUs in prosecuting Medicaid fraud matters.
A Few Findings of the Report
The Report’s findings include: