Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is endorsing federal legislation (H.R. 3891) that would improve states’ ability to combat abuse and neglect of Medicaid patients. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides medical benefits to millions of Americans.
Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs), the majority of which are in state AG offices, have long been in the forefront of health care fraud enforcement. 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. Other cases of abuse and neglect of Medicaid patients – such as in a home health care setting – fall outside the Unit’s authority.
Since the current statute was enacted decades ago, substantial growth has occurred in home and community-based services, office-based services, transportation services, and other settings that are neither health care facilities nor board and care facilities.
States electing to operate under the expanded authority of H.R 3891, if enacted, would be able to use their MFCUs to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse or neglect of Medicaid patients in non-institutional settings.
“H.R. 3891 proposes a common-sense change that will better protect an often-vulnerable population and will maximize the benefits and efficient use of MFCU assets,” reads the NAAG letter signed by 49 state and territory attorneys general and sent today to the bill’s sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. “We hope it can become law soon….”