West Virginia Record

Sunday, January 19, 2020

AG's office announces record-breaking year for Disability Fraud Unit

State AG

By Chris Dickerson | Jan 22, 2019


CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office says its disability fraud partnership had its most successful year in 2018, pushing its total savings to more than $14.3 million.

The partnership generated nearly $6.2 million in projected savings for state and federal governments during calendar year 2018. That's a 10.2 percent increase from calendar year 2017.

“This record-breaking year marks yet another a great return on investment for this partnership,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Rooting out fraud and waste in government remains a top priority of our office, and I know our success with disability fraud can be duplicated if lawmakers grant our office authority to fight Medicaid fraud.”

The 2018 year-end tally included a final quarter savings of $1,481,383.

According to the AG's office, the Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit – a partnership with the Social Security Administration – investigates suspicious or questionable disability claims. It investigates beneficiaries, claimants and any third party who facilitate fraud. The unit’s findings help disability examiners make informed decisions and ensure payment accuracy, while also equipping state and federal prosecutors with the facts needed to secure a conviction. This, in turn, generates significant savings for taxpayers.

The West Virginia AG's office joined the program in December 2015. The West Virginia unit joins two investigators and an analyst from the Attorney General’s Office with representatives from SSA, its Office of the Inspector General and the state’s Disability Determination Section.

Nationally, the CDI program is one of the most successful anti-fraud initiatives with regard to federal disability programs. It operates 43 units in 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Morrisey has asked the Legislature to transfer West Virginia’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit from the state Department of Health and Human Resources to his office. According to Morrisey's office, the majority of such units nationwide are housed within each state attorney general’s office.

He says such a move would fix deficiencies in West Virginia’s existing unit and yield greater efficiency and effectiveness to the benefit of the taxpayer. He said he also thinks a greater source of fighting Medicaid fraud could save taxpayers many millions of dollars per year. 

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