Monday, April 7, 2014

Schmidt praises Legislature for strengthening Medicaid anti-fraud law

TOPEKA, KAN. – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today praised the Legislature for unanimously approving legislation to strengthen the Medicaid Fraud Control Act.

Schmidt proposed the measure in January, and the Legislature sent a final version to the Governor on Saturday. Senate Bill 271 passed the Senate 40-0 and the House of Representatives 122-0.

The bill increases criminal penalties for defrauding the Medicaid program and also allows courts to sentence defendants to prison, not probation, if their fraud results in a Medicaid recipient being denied quality services to which he or she is entitled. The measure also strengthens the state’s ability to obtain civil fines against people who file false claims with the Medicaid program.

“Protecting taxpayers by vigorously prosecuting Medicaid fraud is a priority for our office,” Schmidt said. “These new legal tools will strengthen our ability to hold accountable those who steal from the taxpayers and put Medicaid recipients’ health at risk by failing to provide needed services.”

During his first three years in office, Schmidt's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division recovered a record $90.4 million through Medicaid fraud enforcement and returned that money to the state and federal treasuries. Schmidt’s office also has obtained 53 criminal convictions for Medicaid fraud or abuse over its first three years.

To report suspected Medicaid fraud, contact the Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 551-6328.