WASHINGTON D.C. — – U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced bipartisan legislation Sept. 28 to better identify Medicaid fraud and protect those who are served by the program.

H.R. 3891 eliminates unnecessary federal regulations that restrict the ability of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) to identify, investigate, and prosecute possible fraud, patient abuse or neglect within Medicaid.

“We should always be looking for ways to strengthen the integrity of the Medicaid program, protect the vulnerable who need these services, and prevent tax dollars from being wasted,” said Congressman Walberg. “With this bipartisan bill, we are removing needless federal barriers to investigating Medicaid fraud and helping ensure beneficiaries are protected from abuse and neglect.”

Welch said Medicaid provides cricial services to more than 30 percent of the residents of Vermont.

“This bipartisan legislation will allow states to crack down on fraudulent actors to ensure that Medicaid remains an efficient and effective program for those in need,” he said.

Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) operate in 49 States and the District of Columbia, and investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud as well as patient abuse or neglect. Currently, MFCUs are only allowed to use federal funds to investigate patient abuse or neglect complaints at healthcare facilities receiving Medicaid payments. H.R. 3891 broadens the permissible use of funds and allows MFCUs a wider scope to conduct investigations.

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Bipartisan bill would reduce Medicaid fraud, protect patients