What does it mean to an Ohioan that a section chief in the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine went to Washington this week to accept an award?
If you answered that it means taxpayers’ dollars were saved and people in need of medical care got more help, you’d be right.
Keesha Mitchell is the chief of the Health Care Fraud section in the Ohio Attorney General’s office. The award from the federal government recognized the section’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit as the best in the nation for federal fiscal year 2010.
The unit recovered more than $82 million of Medicaid funds, succeeded in getting 114 convictions, and was able to pursue 129 indictments/charges. In all, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit was involved in 563 investigations.
“The Ohio [unit’s] statistical and monetary recovery achievements were outstanding and deserve special recognition,” said Daniel Levinson, Department of Health and Human Services inspector general.
Ohio Attorney General DeWine agreed and noted how pending false claims act legislation would compound the unit’s effectiveness.
"I am proud of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for receiving this impressive award,” said Attorney General DeWine.
“Combining the expertise of our fraud unit with the passing of a state False Claims Act, would make its hard work even more valuable for taxpayers and those in real need of Medicaid funds since more of the money recovered would stay in Ohio.”
A portion of recovered Medicaid money has to be returned to the federal government. However, federal law allows states with a false claims act to keep a greater share of the funds they recover.
You can report suspected Medicaid fraud online or by calling 1-800-282-0515.