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July 22, 2010

Maryland scoops up $26 million in waste, fraud

Touting a favorite program, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown said Thursday the state’s health department has found $26 million in fraud and waste in the state Medicaid program.

The extra cash will not close the roughly $1.5 billion deficit that awaits the winner of November's gubernatorial election, but Brown argued the extra money will help.

Brown also used the occasion to remind folks that he lobbied to strengthen the state’s Medicaid False Claims Act during the legislative session (he’s photographed here testifying on that bill). The new bill created a civil penalty for Medicaid fraud, which lets the state collect damages and allows Maryland to piggyback on the larger and lucrative federal investigations.

Remarkably, state health and budget analysts believe that anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of the billions spent annually on Medicaid is lost to waste, fraud and abuse. Schemes include doctors billing the state for phantom patients and pharmaceutical companies wildly overbilling for drugs or devices.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 6:32 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Administration
        

Comments

I find it quite amusing that the Lt. Gov and DHMH take all the claim for a function that is performed by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Unit.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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