Attorney General Andy Beshear, along with a bipartisan group of 48 other state and territory attorneys general today asked congress to eliminate federal restrictions that limit their states’ ability to investigate and prosecute the abuse and neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries.
The letter sent to U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg, R-Mich., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., in support of their legislation, H.R. 3891, which would expand the authority of state Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) to detect, investigate and prosecute Medicaid patient abuse in non-institutional settings.
“Our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit works hard to protect our most vulnerable Kentuckians from fraud and abuse,” Beshear said. “Kentucky families need congress to change out-of-date laws so that my office can pursue more cases of abuse and neglect of Medicaid patients.”
Currently, Beshear’s MFCU investigates and prosecutes Medicaid provider fraud, resident abuse complaints in Medicaid-funded health care facilities and receives and reviews abuse and neglect complaints through the Elder Abuse Hotline.
In May 2017, Beshear joined with attorneys general from 36 states and the District of Columbia to send a letter to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. The attorneys general urged the government to expand its policy regarding the use of federal funds to investigate and prosecute Medicaid abuse and neglect cases.
The department concluded that the expanded authority would require a change in federal law that could not be done through the regulatory process. H.R. 3891 was introduced in direct response to the attorneys general letter and subsequent response from the department.
Beshear has made protecting Kentucky families one of his office’s top priorities.
Upon taking office, one of the first steps Beshear took was to expand Kentucky’s Elder Abuse Hotline to 24/7 to help ensure seniors are protected both day and night.
To report any instances of patient abuse or Medicaid fraud to the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Hotline call, 877-ABUSE TIP.
To date, efforts by Beshear’s office through civil settlements and criminal restitution resulted in over $71 million in obligations to the state and federal Medicaid program, Medicare, Tricare, commercial payers and other entities.