Report: Fla. AG makes changes to Medicaid fraud unit

Jessica M. Karmasek Mar. 20, 2012, 12:15pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has reportedly fired the chief of a state Medicaid fraud investigative unit and removed its director.

The Miami Herald reported last week that Patrick Kelly, the head of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's law enforcement investigations, was let go Wednesday and the unit's director, David Lewis, will be working elsewhere within the Attorney General's Office.

Bondi's personnel changes are in response to a February review that revealed Kelly and Lewis as the source of the unit's many issues.

Neither Kelly nor Lewis was accused of any wrongdoing in the review, the Herald reported.

"I believed that the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit could perform much better, and I requested a thorough review of the unit," Bondi told the newspaper last week.

"The results of the review confirmed that changes needed to be made in order to ensure that the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit serves Floridians as well as possible."

The review, in particular, pointed to Lewis and Kelly's management styles, saying many staff members didn't want to speak up for fear of retribution.

It also noted that training was inadequate and that there was "ongoing discontent" in the unit's Miami office, according to the Herald.

The unit became part of the Attorney General's Office in July 1994.

It investigates and prosecutes fraud involving providers that intentionally defraud the state's Medicaid program.

The most common schemes involve doctors, dentists, clinics and other health care providers billing for services never performed, over billing for services provided or billing for tests, services and products that are medically unnecessary.

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