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 â€œrecovery homesâ€ in Philadelphia. Recent reporting by the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed these alleged abuses of vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries struggling with substance abuse.
â€œWith 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,â€ said Senator Toomey, who serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care. â€œSadly, 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.â€
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 â€œrecovery homesâ€ that are willing to provide a direct and steady supply of individuals needing treatment for substance abuse.
â€œThe Inquirer story paints a disturbing picture of abuse of taxpayer dollars, but even worse, the abuse of vulnerable Americans,â€ Senator Toomey said. â€œIf the OIG investigation confirms this illegal activity, I trust those offenders will be held fully accountable under the law.â€
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