SENATE PASSES MEDICAID FRAUD PREVENTION BILL
(AUSTIN) — The Senate Monday approved a bill aimed at cutting down Medicaid fraud in Texas. An Office of Inspector General investigation found $6 billion in fraud and waste within Medicaid from 2004 to 2011. Bill author Senator Jane Nelson of Flower Mound told colleagues her bill will make it harder to bilk the system. "This bill will make it tougher for fraudulent providers to take advantage of the system," she said, "while easing the process for the majority of providers that are operating honestly and in accordance with the law."
Her bill, SB 8, would establish a unit at the Health and Human Services Commission tasked with identifying possible Medicaid fraud or abuse, and would give the state Inspector General the authority to investigate those claims. The bill would strengthen statutes that forbid the solicitation of Medicaid patients by providers, and would exclude from the state Medicaid program any provider found guilty of fraud in another state. The bill now heads to the House for approval.
In other floor action Monday, the Senate passed a bill that would create a training program for school personnel in dealing with dangerous situations on campus. SB 1857, by Wichita Falls Senator Craig Estes, would create a special school training program so that concealed handgun license trainers can teach school employees defensive techniques. The training is voluntary and would be run through the current system of CHL trainers in Texas. Estes said that the demand for these programs is growing. "Just the weekend before last, seven hundred teachers and administrators attended a free all-day session on gun laws and safety in the Dallas-Fort Worth area," said Estes. "It doesn't cost the state anything and it does not obligate the school districts to do anything."
The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, April 16 at 11 a.m.