A hearing at the Capitol this afternoon takes on the issue crucial to whether a special legislative session will be called in September. Medicaid provider fraud; if the House isn’t willing to address it, there will be no special session to revive a scaled-down version of the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program. House leadership would like to address MAWD in a special session. The key figure is Representative Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph), a doctor, who denies he stood in the way of a fraud bill during the regular session. Schaaf insists the House gave on everything in the provider fraud legislation pushed by the Senate, except for a provision that would allow private attornies to bring suit in alleged fraud cases. Schaaf says the House wants fraud cases funneled through the Attorney General, not triggered by a lawsuit filed by a private attorney. Schaaf says too few doctors take Medicaid patients now and the wrong provider fraud bill would force more out. He says he has heard from several fellow doctors who tell him they will not accept Medicaid patients if a bill such as the one approved by the Senate becomes law. Schaaf chairs the House Special Committee on Healthcare Facilites that hosts the hearing Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol.
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