Texas Senate passes Medicaid fraud bill

The Texas Senate has approved SB 8, a bill aimed at cutting down Medicaid fraud with the creation of a Health and Human Services Commission.

Bill author Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) told colleagues her bill will make it harder to bilk the system, while easing the process for the majority of providers that are operating honestly and in accordance with the law.

The commission would be tasked with identifying possible Medicaid fraud or abuse, and would give the state inspector general the authority to investigate those claims. The bill would strengthen statutes that forbid the solicitation of Medicaid patients by providers, and would exclude from the state Medicaid program any provider found guilty of fraud in another state. The bill now heads to the House for approval.

An Office of Inspector General investigation found $6 billion in fraud and waste within Medicaid from 2004 to 2011.

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