Thursday, January 9, 2014

Schmidt to propose tougher Medicaid fraud law

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt will ask the legislature to strengthen penalties for people convicted of Medicaid fraud, he announced today in Sedgwick County.

Schmidt said he will propose legislation to reform the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Act by enhancing criminal penalties and increasing fines. The measure also would make other changes to the Act to improve enforcement.

“Medicaid fraud is an assault on taxpayers, and it also can put at risk Kansans who never receive the legitimate services they need,” Schmidt said. “Under current law, a person who defrauds a dependent adult of a large sum of money ends up serving prison time, but the same person using the same fraud to steal the same sum from the taxpayers gets probation. That’s wrong, and this bill aims to fix it.”

Schmidt’s office is the lead enforcer of the Medicaid Fraud Control Act.

During fiscal year 2013, his Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division recovered a record $33.7 million for taxpayers and obtained 15 criminal convictions. Schmidt said the new bill, if enacted, would strengthen his ability to enforce the law.

“Protecting taxpayers from fraud is a top priority of the attorney general’s office,” Schmidt said. “We appreciate the legislature’s consideration of our request to strengthen our ability to protect taxpayers.”