Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Michigan Medicaid Inspector General?

It seems I have an audience.

Someone has attempted to come up with a "cover-thy-ass" piece of legislation to the Peremptory Mandamus. Nice try.

Michigan Peremptory Mandamus Petition


October 22, 2009, Introduced by Senators KAHN, PATTERSON, GEORGE, HARDIMAN, KUIPERS, JANSEN, SANBORN, PAPPAGEORGE, ALLEN, BARCIA, CROPSEY and BIRKHOLZ and referred to the Committee on Health Policy.

A bill to create the office of medicaid inspector general; to prescribe the manner of appointment and qualifications of the medicaid inspector general; to prescribe the powers, functions, and duties of the office of medicaid inspector general; to transfer and assign staff and other resources to the office of medicaid inspector general; to allow for appointment of deputies, assistants, and other officers and employees as may be needed to perform the duties and responsibilities of the office of medicaid inspector general; to allow for the office of medicaid inspector general to enter into contracts; to provide access to information pertaining to the responsibilities of the medicaid inspector general; to authorize investigation into the administration of programs and operations of the Michigan medicaid system; to authorize the medicaid inspector general to review and approve contracts, policies, and procedures pertaining to medicaid; and to mandate assistance and cooperation from state and local entities and to prescribe the powers and duties of certain state departments and agencies.

The Office of Medicaid Inspector General must be housed in the autonomous and independent Department of Management and Budget. How is it the Inspector General can make internal referrals within the Department of Attorney General when there exists apparent, pre-existing conflicts of interests?

Will the referrals be made accessible to the public or will one have to make shots in the dark in hopes of qualifying for a FOIA disclosure in disseminations to the Governor?

Will there be statutory provisions implemented for whistleblowers and victims of Medicaid fraud for reporting alleged violations and requests for investigations?

Will there be an exclusionary database maintained for the purposes of contractual debarments, revocations and sanctions?

Will these cases be litigated and settled under seal of the court?

Is there going to be a public education campaign to encourage public reporting of Medicaid fraud?

Will the recovery funds be placed in the general fund or go into the Office of Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit?

Now, for the biggest question: How will the Medicaid Inspector General deal with Medicaid fraud in child welfare when the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has never, ever gone after child welfare Medicaid fraud?

Does not the introduction of this legislation challenge the integrity of the current Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the operational validity of the non-cognizant U.S. DHHS Region V?

I have so many more deficiencies to ID, but I will save it for a bit later. I must commend the Senators who were bold enough to introduce such a progressive measure, but, there is a alot more work to be done.

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