Mich. AG calls for anti-fraud unit; Draws criticism from Democrats

Chris Rizo Jul. 10, 2009, 8:23pm

Mike Cox (R)

LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline)-Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is calling for the creation of a new state office to audit the state's Medicaid program.

The Republican attorney general and 2010 gubernatorial candidate says the proposed office -- the Michigan Office of Medicaid Inspector General -- would help save taxpayers millions of dollars annually in fraudulent claims.

In a statement, Cox said the office would inspect health care provider records and investigate complaints of waste or abuse.

"Criminal operators are fleecing Michigan taxpayers for millions in fraud," Cox said. "By putting this innovative plan in place, we can save millions of tax dollars and ensure care is available for those who need it."

Legislation to create the program is being sponsored by Rep. Bob Genetski, R-Saugatuck, and Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw.

Currently, the attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit currently inspects the state's Medicaid program.

That in mind, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer said it is Cox who should be doing more to prevent waste and fraud in the state's Medicaid program.

"This is a blatant admission of failure on behalf of Mike Cox," Brewer said in a statement. "The attorney general's office has had a Medicaid fraud unit for years, which obviously is not doing its job."

He added: "If Mike Cox would stop spending time running for governor and concentrate on doing his current job, then Michigan could recoup billions and billions in stolen money. There is no need for this legislation when we already have a Department of Attorney General whose purpose is to stop fraud."

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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