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.