Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Michigan Medicaid Fraud Control Game

There are times when I become just utterly disgusted with blatant lies.  This is one of them.

I recently submitted a FOIA to find information on Michigan's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  I called the Office of Attorney General who referred me to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The FOIA was quite simple.  All I did was to take the federal statute, and cut and paste the criteria for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

  1. Details of Statewide authority to prosecute individuals for violations

  of criminal laws with respect to fraud in the provision or administration
  of medical assistance under the State plan;
  2. Assurances for referral from all State Departments for violations of
  criminal laws with respect to fraud in the provision or administration of
  medical assistance under the State plan;
  3. The organizational structure and chart;
  4. The number of employees, description of duties and qualifications for
  all professional positions;
  5. Federal Memorandum of Agreement and/or orders, if any;
  6. Copy of agreement with the Department of Community Health;
  7. Annual reports of Fiscal Years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
  2007, 2008, and 2009; and,
  8. Projected operations and budget for FY 2010
The reason why is because I was tired of the games and it personally hurts.

Medicaid fraud in child welfare is horrific and no one will speak upon this crime.  For years, there are reports generated by the State Auditor General and it gets brushed aside by legislators.  The most recent report documents almost $5 billion in questionable costs.  The only thing that happened was a hearing in Lansing where everyone looked around the room staring at each other, rambling big words on correcting the situation.  It was a joke.

I filed an action to make the state, in accordance to its own laws, stop Medicaid fraud by referring to the Attorney General for prosecution and recovery.  Within a few weeks of my filing, the following was produced:

Michigan Medicaid Integrity Program

After some public posturing, the position of Medicaid Inspector General was created....
Michigan Executive Order On Creation of Health Services Inspector General
...in the Department of Community Health.

This takes us back to the FOIA.

I received, today response to my query on the structure, operations and authority of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  It was a package with an organizational chart of the Department of Community Health, a copy of Senate Bill No.1152 and a bill.

The Department has identified approximately 19,460 pages of documents responsive to your request.  Using the hourly wage of the lowest paid department staff capable of searching for, retrieving, reviewing, examining, and separating exempt material, the cost for processing the request is calculated as follows:
  •   20 hours labor @$22.15 per hour to search and retrieve records..............................................................................................................$443.00
  •   20 hours labor @$22.15 per hour to review, examine and separate exempt from non-exempt records..............................................................................................................$443.00
  •    19,460 pages @ .25 per page.......................................................................$4,865.00
  • Total..............................................................................................................$5,751.00
TRANSLATION:  We do not have the information you requested because it does not exist.  If we charge you exorbitant amounts, knowing that you could never possibly pay it and pretty secure in the fact that you will you use the information in litigation against us, we ain't giving you shit.



I can easily FOIA the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and say,

"Dr. Levinson, did you know the stuff Michigan Office of Attorney General sends in to garner your approval for its Medicaid Fraud Control Unit does not exist?  The Department of Community Health, State Medicaid Director, just sent me a FOIA response saying it does not exist so I was wondering if you would have your staff send it to me, because, of course, you did approve its operations and fund 90% of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit which does absolutely nothing to end Medicaid fraud as the state does not comply with its own assurances for referral when there is suspect of Medicaid fraud.  I would really appreciate it if you would send those docs to me so I can give them to the Office of Attorney General and the Department of Community Health.  I promise to upload each doc to my Scribd account.

I will do that later.  Stay tuned.

I am a public official.  That means whatever I say goes on public record; therefore, let the record reflect that I am officially calling upon the Democratic candidate for the Office of Attorney General for the State of Michigan, David Leyton, to address the issues of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and what will be done to end Medicaid fraud in child welfare.

My following may be small but those who visit my site are powerful.  Let Mr. Leyton know I will be looking for him at Cobo Hall.
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