Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Cost-Saving Alternatives Offered for Medicaid Program

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Cost-Saving Alternatives Offered for Medicaid Program

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Private bounty hunters are one way to fight fraud in the Medicaid program, according to Stan Dorn, J.D., senior analyst at the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Successfully used by Medicare, the bounty hunter approach allows whistle-blowers to share in funds recovered through prosecutions under the False Claims Act.

According to recommendations developed by Andy Schneider, an attorney and Medicaid policy expert for Taxpayers Against Fraud, Congress could bolster Medicaid whistle-blower opportunities by increasing federal payments to states that enact their own False Claims Act and by offering whistle-blowers a minimum of 20% of the federal share of any recovered funds.

At a policy forum sponsored by the American Public Health Association, Mr. Dorn included enhanced fraud reduction efforts among nine budget cutting options that would trim the cost of the program without capping spending or enrollment. Congress is expected to propose Medicaid program changes this year that will result in $10 billon in reduced federal spending over 5 years.

Mr. Dorn offered other cost savings alternatives, such as improving case management for the chronically ill and implementing community-based obesity prevention strategies. The Bush administration in its fiscal year 2006 budget proposed reducing Medicaid funding by reforming the program's drug purchasing system and limiting asset transfers that qualify seniors for long-term care.

Limits on spending and benefits are not part of any current federal budget plans, but lawmakers are looking broadly at Medicaid reform proposals this year. …

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