Medicaid fraud legislation stalls in Missouri Senate

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | 5:51 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A bill that would allow private citizens to take legal action on cases of Medicaid fraud stalled in the Senate on Monday.

Under current statute, only the attorney general is authorized to take up Medicaid fraud cases. But the bill's sponsor, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-St. Louis County, said the system left many important cases ignored.

"Why isn't the attorney general doing our bidding?" Schmitt said.

However, legislators opposed to the action said the bill was not necessary without a request from the attorney general for additional resources in fighting Medicaid fraud.

Sen. Luann Ridgeway, R-Smithville, said she worried the legislation would, if passed, result in unrestricted false accusations against physicians.

"This is opening the door to abuse and frivolous lawsuits," Ridgeway said.

Ultimately, the legislation was laid over.



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