Missouri makes the most out of federal Medicaid grants

Chris Rizo Jan. 13, 2010, 3:27am

Chris Koster (D)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline)-Missouri makes more out of federal funds to fight Medicaid fraud than any other state in the nation, federal data indicates.

The Missouri attorney general's office in fiscal year 2008 recovered $29.7 million, while receiving about $1.6 million in federal Medicaid fraud-fighting grants.

In 2008, the most recent year for which comparative data are available, the state's attorney general was Democrat Jay Nixon, who now serves as the state's governor.

Overall, Missouri recovered $18.81 for every federal dollar received. That is 43 cents better than the next- best state, North Carolina, which recovered $18.38 for each Medicaid fraud-fighting dollar the Tar Heel State received, according to figures by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"Efficiency of government is critical, particularly during these challenging economic times," Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said Tuesday. "Missouri's Medicaid fraud unit has used all tools available to aggressively investigate and prosecute Medicaid fraud and return those stolen health care dollars to Missouri."

Koster, a Democrat, took office last year as Missouri's chief legal officer. He is a former state senator, representing the counties of Cass, Johnson, Bates and Vernon.

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

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