Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Senator Kay Hagan Cost Millions in NC Medicaid Fraud & Waste

It seems that Senator Kay Hagan was playing politics with North Carolina's medicaid program, while she was in the general assembly. Back in 2003, the republicans proposed the purchase of a software that would cut down on fraud and waste. Senator Kay Hagan killed it in committee.

The following excerpts were published in the Cary News.Com., written by staff writter, Benjamin Niolet:

"U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan argued from the Senate floor last week about the importance of using advanced software to root out and prevent billions of dollars worth of fraud in health care.
When the same idea came across her desk in the state legislature six years ago, Hagan all but ignored it.

In 2003, Hagan was co-chairwoman of the appropriations committee in the state Senate. The committee, which assembles the state budget, is one of the most powerful in the legislature. And it was there that a Republican-backed proposal to use software to prevent health care fraud withered and died.

Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, said she doesn't remember the 2003 bill. Hagan's office subsequently said the software Hagan is advocating for the federal government is more advanced than the products available in 2003."

Apparently, a program is only good if a democrat proposes such tax savings programs. The ariticle continues:

"North Carolina's legislature voted this year to purchase such anti-fraud software. Republicans who have supported the idea for years say the Democrats who run the state legislature missed a chance in 2003 to save hundreds of millions annually. "

"We're going to send Kay Hagan a bill for $600 million," said state Rep. Paul Stam, an Apex Republican and the House's minority leader."

What is odd about this bill is that Hagan co-sponsored this bill and apparently killed it in committee:

"In the state Senate, Hagan was among the co-sponsors of Pittenger's bill, which died in the chamber's appropriations committee. Pittenger said in an interview that Hagan, as co-chairwoman of the committee, had the power to advance the bill to the Senate floor. Senate records do not show whether the bill got a hearing or if Hagan was personally responsible for the bill's stagnation."

So, I ask what had changed Senator Kay Hagans mind and bring the exact same proposal to the floor of the United States Senate?:

"The proposals were so similar that both Pittenger in 2003 and Hagan this week specifically mentioned Cary-based SAS as a company that has developed suitable software. SAS CEO Jim Goodnight and his wife, Ann Goodnight, contributed $4,000 to Hagan's U.S. Senate campaign."

Senator Hagan gave the following reason as to why North Carolina did not purchase this software:

"Later, her spokesman, Dave Hoffman, would not specifically say why Hagan did not advance the bill through her committee. He did say software in 2003 would not catch fraud schemes such as "doctor shopping," in which a patient gets the same prescription from multiple doctors."

So why are North Carolina's democrats now implementing this cost saving program?:

"What changed," Stam said, "is they were so desperate for money and they realized if they were going to be short on Medicaid money, they had to stop wasting so much of it."

Well what do you know? Go figure?



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