Kansas recovered nearly $29 million in taxpayer funds in fiscal 2014 through its Medicaid fraud enforcement unit, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Friday.
In the fiscal year ending June 30, the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division of the Kansas attorney general's office recovered more than $28.7 million. The recoveries were reported in the division’s annual report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This was the second-highest year of recoveries, following last fiscal year’s record $33.7 million. Since Schmidt took office in 2011, the office has recovered more than $94 million through its Medicaid fraud recovery efforts.
“The Medicaid program is intended to help care for Kansans in need, not to pay for fraudulent claims or services not provided,” Schmidt said. “Our office continues to take seriously our responsibility to protect taxpayers’ money from being misspent by vigorously prosecuting those providers who try to illegally enrich themselves from the public treasury.”
In addition to the financial recoveries, the report highlights changes to the state’s Medicaid fraud and elder abuse laws. Earlier this year, the Kansas Legislature passed two proposals that Schmidt supported. The first strengthened the penalties for Medicaid fraud. The second proposal created a new crime of “mistreatment of an elder person,” which will allow the state to better prosecute those who financially abuse senior citizens through misuse of a trust or power of attorney.
Schmidt’s office also created an online Medicaid fraud reporting form, which allows Kansans to submit tips about Medicaid fraud or abuse. Kansans with information about Medicaid fraud also can call the attorney general's office at (866) 551-6328.
Kansans are eligible for cash rewards up to $5,000 for reporting Medicaid fraud.
The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute.