New Medicaid program to fight fraud

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State and federal Medicaid officials have started a new antifraud program that will take steps to ensure that funds do not support criminal activities within the system.

The Medicaid Integrity Program, launched July 18 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The law requires the use of contractors to review the actions of those seeking payment from Medicaid. The contractors will take actions including conducting audits, identifying overpayments and educating providers and others on program integrity and quality of care, according to a news release from CMS.

Congress will provide funding for 100 full-time staff on the project, employees who will work in concert with state Medicaid officials. Funds for the program will rise from $5 million in 2007 to $75 million by fiscal year 2009 and each year thereafter.