…but the arrests, which come down to the tune of one or two a week these days, it seems like, barely make a dent in the fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicaid program.
Here’s a press release out this morning…
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry today announced two more arrests made by his national award-winning Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
“In order to bring welfare fraudsters to justice, our MFCU often relies on the public’s help in exposing the crimes,” said General Landry. “So we once again encourage anyone who may know of people using the Medicaid program to illegally take money, services, or drugs to report it to our office.”
Margo Malone, 44 of Bossier City, was arrested on five counts of Medicaid Fraud for allegedly claiming to provide $19,089.58 of services to clients to whom she did not render services.
Cecilia Cheatteam, 36 of Harvey, was arrested on four counts of Medicaid Fraud for allegedly submitting timesheets and service logs for overlapping services on two clients – amounting to $10,425.06 paid by the Medicaid program for services not rendered.
Following investigations by General Landry’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, both women were arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
To report Medicaid welfare fraud and/or neglect in residential care facilities – please call General Landry’s Medicaid Fraud Hotline at 888-799-6885 or visit www.AGJeffLandry.com.
A couple of things on this – the guy in the AG’s office who was spearheading the Medicaid fraud investigations and prosecutions was Brandon Fremin, who was just confirmed as the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana last week, so if you’re looking for a good sign of things to come this could be one.
But also, from talking with some folks in the AG’s office, what we hear is these are the easiest investigations imaginable. These are not sophisticated crooks at all – they’re essentially filing time sheets saying they did work for Medicaid Recipient A and then filing other time sheets saying they did work for Medicaid Recipient B during the same time. And they get caught doing it, but there are so many it’s hopeless to try to catch them all.
And this problem is exploding in recent years. Why? Because Medicaid enrollment is exploding thanks to John Bel Edwards expanding it. We’re approaching a half-million new enrollees since Edwards took office. They’d projected the number would be 300,000 – it seems that math isn’t the strong suit of people who run a $30 billion state government with your money.
If John Bel Edwards or Jay Dardenne happens to be speaking to your Chamber of Commerce group or Kiwanis Club or whatever, do yourself a favor and ask them how much the state portion of Medicaid spending has increased since the current administration took office. Edwards’ narrative is this has actually saved the state money, which is hilarious – what we’re told is the state-funded portion of the budget for the Louisiana Department of Health has grown by $900 million, which is essentially Medicaid spending, since Bobby Jindal left office.
How much in new taxes is John Bel Edwards asking for in order to solve his fiscal cliff problem? A little over $900 million.
And meanwhile Landry’s people are running around the state playing whack-a-mole with all the unsophisticated, stupid criminals who are pillaging your tax dollars through Medicaid.
This is what you voted for in 2015. You might have thought you were voting against hookers, but you were mistaken.