Feds cite Med­i­caid fraud unit over no­tices

Post-Tribune - - Business -

IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS — A fed­eral agency found that the In­di­ana at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice didn’t give proper no­tice in nearly a quar­ter of the Med­i­caid fraud cases it helped pros­e­cute in re­cent years.

A re­port from the De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices in­spec­tor gen­eral’s of­fice found state officials didn’t no­tify the agency within 30 days in about 25 of its 105 con­vic­tions be­tween fis­cal years 2010 and 2012. In 11 of those cases, the fed­eral govern­ment wasn’t no­ti­fied at all, The In­di­anapo­lis Star re­ported.

Over­all, the in­spec­tor gen­eral’s of- fice said In­di­ana is per­form­ing well, but it cited six crit­i­cisms, in­clud­ing a fail­ure to doc­u­ment su­per­vi­sor ap­proval in about 77 per­cent of open cases and 18 per­cent of closed cases.

Matthew Whit­mire, direc­tor of In­di­ana’s Med­i­caid Fraud Con­trol Unit, ad­mit­ted state in­ves­ti­ga­tors hadn’t met the 30-day no­ti­fi­ca­tion re­quire­ment in some cases. He said the de­lays were the re­sult of In­di­ana’s prose­cu­tion sys­tem, which forces the fraud of­fice to go through county prose­cu­tors, who some­times don’t up­date it on the sta­tus of cases.

“The lack of prose­cu­tion power and re­liance on 91 county prose­cu­tors makes the 30-day re­quire­ment un­rea- son­able,” Whit­mire wrote in a let­ter to the in­spec­tor gen­eral’s of­fice. But he said the agency will try to com­ply.

It is un­clear whether any­one con­victed of fraud later re­ceived any fed­eral pay­ments.

Bryan Corbin, spokesman for the state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice, said in­ves­ti­ga­tors work closely with the Fam­ily and So­cial Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion to en­sure peo­ple con­victed of fraud are not paid fed­eral funds. State officials also seek resti­tu­tion for any im­proper pay­ments.

The fraud unit re­cov­ered more than $110 mil­lion in civil and crim­i­nal con­vic­tions be­tween fis­cal year 2010 and 2012, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

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