The House today approved multiple bills, all part of a comprehensive package of legislation to ensure taxpayer dollars are not being used fraudulently or misspent. Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover), who spearheaded the initiative to create the bill package and is the sponsor of House Bill 2352, issued the following statement:
“I am thrilled the first four bills of the package have been approved by the House. This legislative package serves to enhance the civil and criminal penalties associated with fraudulently taking taxpayer money.
“This six-bill package is the result of long hours of tireless work to address a very serious problem in Pennsylvania. Wasteful spending and the fraudulent use to taxpayer dollars should never be tolerated. Every dollar that is misspent or fraudulently taken is another dollar which is taken from those relying on critical government services or which hard-working taxpayers must make up.
“After reading a grand jury report on fraud in Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Program, also known as Medicaid, and conducting further research, I worked with fellow members of the General Assembly to draft the legislative package. The aim of the legislation is to address problems laid out in the report, and a report by the House Government Oversight Committee. Included in the reports were several recommendations such as, strengthening the requirements for Medicaid providers. Many of the recommendations were incorporated into the bills.”
The following House-approved bills will now be considered in the Senate:
• House Bill 2351
, Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks), would increase the penalty for knowing or causing a fraudulent claim to be submitted to a second-degree felony if the fraudulent claim is $100,000 or more. If the claim is between $2,000 and $100,000, the penalty for the fraudulent claim would be a third-degree felony. If the claim is $2,000 or less the penalty would be a third-degree misdemeanor.
• House Bill 2353
, Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny), which mirrors the Federal Improper Payment law, would require agencies to review their programs and expenditures and assess whether they are highly, moderately or unlikely to be susceptible to an improper payment.
• House Bill 2354
, Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter), would establish a searchable database of a variety of sources that would help identify organizations, individuals and entities that are not eligible to receive funds from a Commonwealth agency. The bill is modeled after the federal Do Not Pay law.
• House Bill 2355
, Rep. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield/Cambria), would require any Medicaid Managed Care Organization to enter into an agreement with the Department of Human Services to allow the department to recoup any Medicaid funds which were spent on the value of provider preventable conditions.
Representative Seth Grove
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross