Florida Passes Tougher Anti-Medicaid Fraud Law

Florida_Capital.JPGIn a move targeted to increase health care fraud enforcement by the State of Florida, the Florida legislature has recently passed legislation containing a number of new fraud provisions, including:
* elevating Medicaid fraud from a third degree felony to first, second and third degree felonies based upon dollar amounts of fraud and increasing fines to five times the amount of the fraud;
* designating Miami-Dade County as a “health care fraud crisis area” and increasing the monitoring of home health care in Miami-Dade County requirements that owners of home health agencies to be residents of the United States for at least five years or to post a $500,000.00 bond to own a health care clinic, a home health agency or a DME company;
* increasing the number of disqualifying prior criminal offenses for home health care business ownership;
* an increase in funding for rewards for people who report health care fraud and awarding 25% or $500,000 as a reward for successful actions based upon information received;
* limits a defendant’s ability to collect attorney’s fees if successful in defending a false claims action;
* prohibits alteration of records after the commencement of an investigation or audit; and
* provides that Medicaid program terminated provider’s names will be placed on a website and physician practitioner profiles will indicate if a practitioner was terminated from the Medicaid Program.
To read the new law, click here.

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