Feds Should Investigate Alleged Fraud Scheme

Member Group : U.S. Senator Pat Toomey

For Immediate Release: September 15, 2017
Contact: Kasia Mulligan 202-224-8609, Steve Kelly 610-434-1444

Toomey: Feds Should Investigate Alleged Medicaid/Opioid Fraud Scheme in PA

Washington, D.C. â€" U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is calling on the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate suspected under-the-table kickbacks by Medicaid-reimbursed outpatient facilities to “recovery homes” in Philadelphia. Recent reporting by the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed these alleged abuses of vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries struggling with substance abuse.

“With the opioid and heroin epidemic tearing apart communities and taking more than 35,000 lives each year, Congress has worked in a bipartisan fashion to allocate billions in new spending on top of the significant sums of federal taxpayer money spent through state Medicaid programs on substance abuse treatment,” said Senator Toomey, who serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care. “Sadly, a number of unscrupulous and substandard treatment providers have found new ways to fraudulently profit off the misery of the many Medicaid beneficiaries battling addictionâ€"despite federal law prohibiting kickbacks to patients and patient brokers.”

A June 1, 2017 Inquirer investigative article based on 140 interviews found that multiple Philadelphia outpatient facilities reimbursed by Medicaid are paying monthly kickbacks to “recovery homes” that are willing to provide a direct and steady supply of individuals needing treatment for substance abuse.

“The Inquirer story paints a disturbing picture of abuse of taxpayer dollars, but even worse, the abuse of vulnerable Americans,” Senator Toomey said. “If the OIG investigation confirms this illegal activity, I trust those offenders will be held fully accountable under the law.”

Full text of the letter to Inspector General Levinson, HHS: https://www.toomey.senate.gov/files/documents/OIG%20Letter.pdf
June 1st Philadelphia Inquirer article: http://www.philly.com/philly/health/addiction/Philadelphia_exploited_heroin_addicts_recovery_houses_treatment_centers_kickbacks_Medicaid.html
September 14th follow-up article by the Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/toomey-asks-hhs-to-probe-pimping-out-recovery-opioid-20170914.html

Kasia Mulligan | Communications Director
Office of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
202-224-8609 | toomey.senate.gov