North Dakota has become the final state to have a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The entities investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud and resident / patient abuse and neglect in assisted living communities, skilled nursing facilities and other healthcare facilities.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem applied for federal certification of an MFCU on Aug. 23, Acting Inspector General Joanne Chiedi of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General noted in a Sept. 18 letter approving the application. The letter was made public by the HHS OIG on Wednesday.
MFCUs are jointly funded by the federal government and the states and territories. Efforts by the units resulted in 16 criminal convictions and $241,798 in criminal and civil monetary recoveries related to assisted living in fiscal year 2018, according to an annual report released by the OIG in March. Unit efforts involving nursing facilities led to a total of 32 criminal convictions, 36 settlements or judgments and more than $50 million in criminal and civil recoveries in 2018.
North Dakota’s MCFU joins existing units in the 49 other states, the District of Columbia and the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The certification is for one year, effective Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2020. To remain certified, the state will need to reapply 60 days before the end of the certification period, Chiedi said.