Carr Asks Congress to Improve States’ Ability to Combat Abuse and Neglect of Medicaid Patients

March 28, 2018

ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr, along with a bipartisan group of 48 other attorneys general, today asked Congress to ease federal restrictions that limit states’ ability to investigate and prosecute the abuse and neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries.

“If enacted, this legislation would allow state Medicaid Fraud Control Units to investigate and prosecute abuse and neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries in non-institutional settings,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “We think this measure is critically important as we continue to crack down on unlicensed personal care homes and unlawful opioid distribution to Medicaid beneficiaries.”

The group of attorneys general sent a letter to U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg and Peter Welch in support of their legislation, House Resolution 3891, which would expand the authority of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) to detect, investigate and prosecute Medicaid patient abuse in non-institutional settings.

Under current law, MFCUs may investigate and prosecute patient abuse and neglect only if it occurs in a health care facility or, in some circumstances, in a board and care facility. That means other cases of abuse and neglect of Medicaid patients – such as in a home health care setting – fall outside the unit’s authority.

The attorneys general also stressed to the lawmakers the importance of expanding this authority in light of the national opioid epidemic. The bill would, for example, give states the authority to investigate and prosecute cases of unlawful opioid distribution to Medicaid beneficiaries, which under current law they may only do if the case occurred within a health care facility or a board and care facility.

Led by Kansas, Connecticut, Oklahoma and Vermont, the other attorneys general who signed the letter were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

A copy of the letter can be found on our website at law.ga.gov.

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