Letter to the Editor

Your view: Stop the fraud

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dear Editor,

We applaud your call for the Missouri Legislature to pass a law addressing Medicaid provider fraud. We have been advocating for several years that Missouri join 16 other states which have enacted a state version of the Federal False Claims Act.

It is estimated that a tough anti-fraud law would result in $200-$500 million for Missouri annually. Recovery of these monies would allow for full restoration of the massive Medicaid cuts the Legislature passed in 2005. This would mean that more than 100,000 low-income Missourians who lost Medicaid insurance would once again have access to basic health care services.

To be most effective, a provider fraud bill must have enough "teeth" to allow for effective prosecution of those cheating the Medicaid system. Laws passed in other states have several layers of protection against "frivolous" or unfounded lawsuits.

Health care providers who conduct business honestly have no need to be concerned about anti-fraud legislation.

Amy Blouin Executive Director Missouri Budget Project