Governor Bev Perdue has announced that the State of North Carolina will begin more vigorous prosecutions of those accused of Medicaid fraud. Obviously budget conditions in the state and the nation is pushing the governor to look for money everywhere and anywhere, including from those who bill the State for state administered Medicaid expenses.
This aggressive prosecution is surely to pull in people who are truly innocent of the charges. Obviously Medicaid billing rules are far from clear, and what may be “fraud” in the government’s eyes, may simply be a company seeking to bill at the highest possible rate.
In the end, it’s likely that the State of North Carolina is threatening this action not so much because it believes abuse is rampant, but because it wants to send a warning shot over the bows of health care providers who bill the government that prosecution awaits if the government believes it has been over billed.
In addition to the true crooks, some companies are going to face the threat of prosecution or actual prosecution so as to convince everyone else out there to dot their Is and cross their Ts.
Unfortunately for the companies that have been targeted by the government, life is not going to be pleasant for the next 18 to 24 months.