Medicaid Fraud Litigation Nets Isles Twelvefold Return on Investment

By Consillio, Kristen | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, September 28, 2012 | Go to article overview

Medicaid Fraud Litigation Nets Isles Twelvefold Return on Investment


Consillio, Kristen, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


Hawaii has collected $84 million over the past five years from drug companies for alleged Medicaid fraud and is among the top states with the highest return on investment for its investigations.

The amount state prosecutors have collected through litigation is 12 times what the state paid to prosecute Medicaid fraud cases from 2006 to 2011, according to a new report by Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit consumer advocacy group.

Of 27 states that recovered money from drug manufacturers, Hawaii had the fourth-highest return on investment. The state spent $6.7 million on Medicaid fraud enforcement in the period and recouped $12.50 for every $1 spent, the group said.

"These are states that have pursued these cases completely on their own without the help of the federal government," said Sammy Almashat, health researcher with Public Citizen. "States expended their own resources to try to recover money for their own Medicaid programs. Pursuing and prosecuting pharmaceutical companies for fraud ... can be exceedingly cost effective for the states that choose to prosecute. These investigations pay for themselves in the long run."

The Hawaii cases involved overcharging the Medicaid program for drugs for the state's neediest population, the most common violation, he said. …

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