Governor Lincoln Chafee Offers Update on Administration's Ongoing Efforts to Root Out Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Health and Human Services

Press Release

By:  Linc Chafee
Date: March 13, 2013
Location: Unknown

Governor Lincoln Chafee and members of his Cabinet today offered an update on his Administration's efforts to comprehensively combat waste, fraud, and abuse in health and human services in Rhode Island -- work that has been ongoing since 2011. "The challenges of eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse are in every state in the country, and here in Rhode Island my administration has been addressing them since my first year in office. We have included state budget funding for the Office of Program Oversight and Integrity. We have met frequently with state and federal law enforcement. We have been working with the federal government to expand the state's jurisdiction and ability to investigate." "The Simpatico study, which has generated so much media attention, was a recent step in this ongoing process," Governor Chafee continued. "It has been helpful in providing my administration with further direction on which areas to pursue, but in reality it is one small piece of what we have been doing for years and will continue to do. With that in mind, I am pleased to offer an update on our work and unveil a package of four bills that will bolster our efforts to protect hard-earned taxpayer dollars." Governor Chafee also unveiled a legislative package of four bills that build upon the Governor's commitment to minimizing waste, fraud, and abuse by closing gaps and strengthening areas of weakness. Please see bill summaries attached. In October 2011, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) submitted a budget request containing, at the Governor's request, a new Office of Program Oversight and Integrity with five full-time employees. This funding was then included in Governor Chafee's proposed FY2013 budget, and signed into law in June of 2012. State departments and agencies have been modifying internal practices based on information gaps and improving data analysis, including information sharing among departments, the awarding of contracts to improve claims processing, and the launch of a new predictive analytics program, which predicts fraud before it occurs (RFP has been issued). Relevant departments and agencies have also been working with the federal government for approval of a State Law Enforcement Bureau (SLEB), which will allow the state to investigate and prosecute SNAP retailer fraud. Members of the Chafee Administration have also been meeting with Ken Block since May 2011, as well as convening frequent meetings with representatives of the U.S. Attorney's Office, State Police, and Attorney General's Office since August 2012. Medicaid staff has been working with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney General's Office since February 2011. For more, please see the complete timeline attached.