December 30, 2009
Jefferson City, Mo.-Attorney General Chris Koster today announced that 2009 set an all-time record for Medicaid fraud recovery in Missouri. He said the $81.6 million obtained by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in calendar year 2009 was more than double the previous record in the unit's 15-year history, $33.6 million in 2008.
Koster said the Medicaid Fraud Unit obtained three state criminal convictions and helped the United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District, obtain five federal criminal convictions. He said the unit was able to settle 13 civil Medicaid fraud lawsuits and obtain a summary judgment on one civil suit. Koster said two lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies contributed significantly to the all-time record collections. Warrick Pharmaceuticals paid a $31 million settlement in January; and in September, the largest nationwide Medicaid fraud settlement in history resulted in Pfizer paying the state $22 million.
"I am extremely proud of the hard work, commitment, and talent of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit," Koster said. "This record-breaking year for collections is testimony to the importance of the Attorney General's Office staying focused on Medicaid fraud with the purpose of recovering money stolen from our health care system."
Koster said one important tool for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is receiving referrals or tips on potential Medicaid fraud and patient abuse/neglect from citizens and state agencies. The unit investigates these allegations across the state and collaborates with local, state, and federal agencies to prosecute those who steal from Medicaid or harm vulnerable citizens. Koster said consumers can report suspected Medicaid fraud by calling the Medicaid Fraud Hotline toll free at 800-286-3932.