The Department of Justice is charging 14 people with Medicaid fraud in Illinois.
The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen Wigginton, said over the past few years, dozens of people have fleeced a Medicaid program that pays personal assistants to help disabled or sick Medicaid recipients live at home. The intention is to save the state money by keeping people in their homes and out of costly institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes.
Missouri’s business community is getting more vocal in pushing the state’s legislators to expand Medicaid.
The St. Louis Regional Chamber held a panel Friday with business leaders who expressed frustration that the state is not capturing federal dollars to provide Medicaid coverage to more low-income residents.
This year, the state will pass up $2 billion dollars in federal funds.
After the panel discussion, St. Louis Regional Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan said that Jefferson City needs to get the message.
For years in most states, Medicaid eligibility had been limited to disabled adults, seniors needing long-term care and very low-income parents with their children.
Then along came the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to grow health insurance coverage across the board. One of its tenets was to expand Medicaid coverage beyond the extremely poor and disabled to include all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.
But in 2012, the Supreme Court gave states the chance to opt out Medicaid expansion.
He woke up in the middle of the night late last year, one hand swollen and the rest of his body was shaking all over.
John Redford realized the symptoms were the consequences of several bites and scratches the day before from his struggle to put the family's 40-pound cat into a cage. He managed to calm himself enough that night and drive an old Mustang 50 miles to a hospital emergency room in Jefferson City. There doctors began weeks of treatment and ultimately saved Redford from losing a finger.
Former U.S. Sen.Kit Bond paid a visit to Jefferson City Tuesday, hoping to persuade his fellow Republicans in the Missouri House and Senate to expand Medicaid coverage to more people.
Bond told a gathering of Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry members that he doesn't like Obamacare, and he called its rollout a "disaster." But he also said that accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid could enable Missouri to craft its own health-care solution.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius holds a press conference with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay in north St. Louis. Law student Nathaniel Carroll spoke about the benefit of having health insurance.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tried to put a price tag and a face on the government’s health reform push in Missouri when she visited the Grace Hill Water Tower Health Center on Friday.
The price tag: $5 million a day. That’s how much she says Missouri is losing by refusing to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.
The face: a local resident who praised the law for the help it is providing his family while he attends law school.
The state of Missouri recovered more than $47 million in fraudulent claims made by Medicaid providers in 2013.
That's about an average year for Attorney General Chris Koster's Medicaid Fraud Unit. The office has recovered as much as $100 million, and as little as $20 million, in a year.
Koster, a Democrat, says those wide variations are triggered by how much money Missouri receives from national settlements. But even though more national settlements means more money for the state's coffers, he says the fraud that concerns him the most is conducted by the smaller providers.