West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey sent a letter to House Speaker Tim Armstead and Judiciary Chairman John Shott urging both to lead their chamber in strengthening the state’s fight against Medicaid fraud.
Senate Bill 500, if passed, would move West Virginia’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit from the state Department of Health and Human Resources to the Attorney General’s office. It overwhelmingly passed the Senate earlier this month.
The letter highlights the shortcomings of the unit as it is currently operated. It also explains the opportunity for growth and financial gain if the unit were to be transferred to the Attorney General’s Office.
“Taxpayer money is being diverted to pay for fraud, waste, and abuse in our Medicaid system,” Morrisey wrote. “It’s time that the unit that recovers waste in the Medicaid program be separated from the department that makes the payments in the first place.”
The letter further explains that West Virginia recovered $3.90 less per Medicaid enrollee than the national average from 2010-2015. With over 400,000 enrollees, this means that West Virginia may have missed out on more than $16 million over a decade.
The attorney general says he is confident his office is well positioned to fix those deficiencies. He writes his administration will operate the unit with greater efficiency and effectiveness to the benefit of taxpayers.
Such success will ensure funds collected through the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit provide medical care for low-income residents and families who legitimately need the assistance.
Nationally, 43 of 50 such units are operated by attorneys general.