(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — A specialized team of Medicaid fraud investigators and prosecutors within Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office has been named the top unit in the country by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
The award – the Inspector General’s Award for Excellence in Fighting Fraud, Waste and Abuse award – was awarded as a result of the Ohio Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s performance in 2021. The Unit was responsible for 197 indictments and 156 convictions, as well as the recovery of nearly $40 million in restitution orders and settlements – numbers that are consistently among the highest, if not the highest, nationwide.
Ohio’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which operates within the Health Care Fraud Section, was recognized as a model organization both within OIG and across the wider Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Medicaid program integrity community. Ohio’s team collaborates with several Federal and State partners to identify, investigate and prosecute fraud in the Ohio Medicaid program as well as abuse and neglect against Ohio’s most vulnerable people.
“The Ohio Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s prowess in investigating and prosecuting health care fraud is exemplary,” stated Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Christian J. Schrank with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “The unit’s accomplishments have undoubtedly made headway in the fight against schemes that target the state’s Medicaid program, upon which millions of Ohioans rely. Medicaid Fraud Control Units are invaluable partners in collaborative efforts to protect the integrity of government-funded health care.”
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with 105 employees, investigates and prosecutes health-care providers who defraud the state Medicaid program and enforces the state’s Patient Abuse and Neglect Law. Simply put, they protect the mentally and physically disabled and elders from neglect and abuse in long-term-care facilities.
“What these men and women see every day is grueling. They see what most Ohioans don’t want to believe exists,” said Attorney General Dave Yost.
“Sadly, our most vulnerable people are the targets of the despicably unscrupulous. This team does an incredible job to protect our sisters and brothers, and consistently outperforms others because they are deeply committed to justice. They care. It’s personal to them. And they are making a difference in the lives of so many. I’m proud to work alongside them.”
The Ohio Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives 75% of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $14,202,572 for Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The remaining 25%, totaling $4,734,190 for FY 2022, is funded by the Ohio Attorney General.