SAYS PRIOR SYSTEM RIPE FOR FRAUD
AUSTIN – The Texas Association of Business today applauded state lawmakers and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for implementing Medicaid management and accountability measures in the Rio Grande Valley, that have proven effective for years in other parts of the state.
“The Medicaid reforms being implemented in the Valley have proven effective in other areas of our state for years and are aimed at protecting patients and taxpayers from fraud, over-utilization and excessive costs,” said TAB President Bill Hammond.
For example, this week two South Texas medical supply company owners pleaded guilty to paying kickbacks to a health care resource center that referred Medicare and Medicaid patients to home health care suppliers.
House District 36 Rep. Sergio Munoz, Jr., yesterday called on HHSC to suspend Medicaid reforms aimed at reducing fraud and increasing accountability and efficiency in medical transportation services, all of which are paid for by Medicaid tax dollars.
In a recent letter, HHSC reminded Valley health care providers that a 2001 law states that Medicaid “recipients under the age of 18 years of age and not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian are not eligible for medical transportation unless (a) the recipient is aged 15-17 and presents the parent’s or legal guardian’s signed, writer consent… or (b) the treatment to which the recipient is being transported is such that the law extends confidentiality to the minor for this treatment.”
Clearly HHSC’s actions demonstrate that Medicaid funded medical transportation is ripe for fraud and excess if left unchecked.
“Taxpayer-funded medical transportation demands strong rules and oversight so that transportation and health care companies can’t game the system,” Hammond continued. “The State of Texas is right to put financial and programmatic accountability measures in place in the Valley, just as they do in other parts of Texas, to protect our tax dollars for the patients and families who truly need them.”
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Founded in 1922, the Texas Association of Business is a broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 3,000 small and large Texas employers and 200 local chambers of commerce.
1209 Nueces • Austin, Texas 78701
512.477.6721 • 512.477.0836 fax • www.txbiz.org