The Medicaid Fraud and Abuse bill, which targets Medicaid providers who are cheating the system, has been given final approval in the Missouri House and is headed to the State Senate. The vote was overwhelming – 156-to-2 – despite some concerns that the punitive measures in the bill are not tough enough.

House Speaker Rod Jetton says having a huge vote like this is positive.  Further, he rejects suggestions the legislation is toothless.  Among other provisions, House Bill 353 targets those who knowingly file false reports or claims, it allows them to be sued by the Attorney General, and it rewards whistleblowers who report offenses to authorities.

Jetton says there is another positive in that it is not so strict as to prompt some health care providers who are in the Medicaid program or who are planning to get involved in it to consider backing out. Jetton expects there will be some changes once the Senate goes to work on it, with the differences ironed out in a conference committee.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)