By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) voted today for H.R. 3716, the Ensuring Terminated Providers are Removed from Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Act. The bipartisan bill’s reforms would save $15 million by eliminating payments to fraudulent providers. The measure would also save millions of dollars for state Medicaid programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General previously found 12 percent of providers who were terminated from one state’s Medicaid program for fraud were still participating in another state’s Medicaid program. This bill ensures that providers terminated as “bad actors” from Medicare or a state Medicaid program are also terminated from all other state Medicaid programs. It requires state Medicaid and CHIP programs to report terminated providers to the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) within 21 business days and CMS to include these providers in its Termination Notification Database.
The bill also enables easy location of a physician who can provide Medicaid services for recipients by requiring state Medicaid programs to include an electronic directory of physicians who served Medicaid patients in the prior year.
Rep. Cook said, “It’s critical that we’re taking care of our most vulnerable patients and that they have access to the care they need. That’s why this bill is important: it eliminates waste and fraud in the system, saving taxpayers millions of dollars, while also ensuring those who are in need of medical services receive proper care.”
A member of the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Natural Resources Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.