Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rutledge Marks Another Record Year for Medicaid Fraud Control Unit

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) obtained more Medicaid fraud convictions and opened more criminal investigations in 2016 than ever before. In 2015, the MFCU set a record with 14 Medicaid fraud convictions and 108 opened criminal investigations. In 2016, Medicaid fraud convictions increased to 17 and the MFCU opened a record 112 criminal investigations. This brings the total Medicaid fraud convictions during the Rutledge administration to 31 in 24 months. The MFCU also worked with local prosecutors to obtain convictions in three long-term care related prosecutions and one drug diversion case for a total of 21 convictions in 2016.
“The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit team had an incredible year of ensuring some of Arkansas’s most vulnerable citizens get the best care available,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “They continue to increase the number of investigations and convictions of bad actors across the state – all to combat fraud and hold those accountable who abuse and neglect Arkansans residing in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. I am proud of this group and am looking forward to seeing what they continue to accomplish on behalf of Arkansans.”

In 2016, the MFCU collected nearly $11.5 million dollars in settlements and restitution.

Another record was set for claims under the Arkansas False Claims Act with 11 cases resulting in settlements totaling $754,214.62. The MFCU additionally collected nearly $1.9 million from settlements obtained from joint investigations and federal false claims cases in cooperation with the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units and U.S. Department of Justice. The MFCU also obtained $212,500 in civil penalties in six abuse and neglect settlements last year.

The Rutledge administration has also put a focus on tracking restitution payments to ensure these criminals are following through with their punishments. In 2016, $74,551.46 was collected in restitution in MFCU criminal cases. The MFCU further obtained court orders and settlements in combined civil and criminal cases totaling nearly $8.5 million, with nearly $5.3 million of that amount being returned to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support the federal Medicaid program. Another $2.2 million was collected last year and paid to the State of Arkansas.  

In new program launched by Rutledge in 2015, the office has saved over $3 million to the Medicaid program by investigating Social Security Disability fraud in 2016 alone. The Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) Unit in Arkansas combats fraud by investigating questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers, interpreters and other service providers who facilitate Social Security disability fraud.

Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud, abuse or neglect in nursing homes or Social Security disability fraud, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or submit a complaint online.

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