Whether there will be a special legislative session later this year depends on whether House and Senate leaders can find common ground on Medicaid fraud. At present, leaders say they are working toward it, but can’t promise anything. Governor Blunt has stated he will call the legislature back into special session if the House is ready to act on a Medicaid fraud bill similar to the one that passed the Senate during the regular session. He says that if he can get that assurance, he would call for a special session to work on a Medicaid fraud bill and a bill to revive a scaled-down version of the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program cut by the legislature two years ago. House Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) says many House members, including representatives who are doctors, remain resistant to the Senate version. He says opponents believe the Senate bill goes too far in its punishment of violators. Jetton says many believe the provisions would keep doctors from taking Medicaid patients. Senator Chris Koster (R-Harrisonville) says his task is to find common ground with the House. Koster says it might be wise for lawmakers to wait for the federal government to release its Medicaid fraud guidelines. He says that then the state will know what is required and what incentives the federal government will offer states to crack down on fraud. The requirement the governor has placed on his call for a special session puts pressure on the House, which has expressed a desire to hold a special session to re-consider its bill to revive the MAWD program.
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