AGs seek to expand abuse investigations

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin has joined a bipartisan plea by attorneys general nationwide to expand Medicaid investigative powers.

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Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin has joined a bipartisan plea by attorneys general nationwide to expand Medicaid investigative powers.

They wrote to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asking to use Medicaid Fraud Control Unit funds to investigate alleged abuse or neglect of elder Medicaid recipients in the home environment.

Federal rules currently allow for “review of complaints of alleged abuse or neglect of patients in health-care facilities.”

People being cared for at home need protection too, the attorneys general argue.

But it could also bring a watchful eye to home-health agencies and family caregivers trying to deliver good care.

Despite being funded by the fraud control unit, an investigation doesn’t mean fraud has occurred, or will be proved.

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The attorneys general letter says one in 10 people 65 and older living at home will get abused and, for every such case seen or reported, 23 go undetected.

The states’ top law-enforcement officers told Price that 74 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid and 6.4 million of those are age 65-plus.

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