Public Citizen, the consumer interest organization, has updated a report on states’ efforts to find Medicaid fraud, particularly by the pharmaceutical industry.

(What? You didn’t know? The real cost of Medicaid fraud isn’t scheming by grubby poor sick people, but pill peddlers scooping millions from taxpayers.)

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Arkansas is one of a handful of states that have recovered far more in lawsuits than it spends on enforcement, Public Citizen says. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office gets a shout for the big recoveries in which it has shared in national class actions.

Much of the recent increase in enforcement activity is due to individual state attorneys general taking the initiative to prosecute fraud allegedly perpetrated by the industry against their Medicaid programs. Since 1991, Kentucky has concluded the most settlements, while Texas leads all states in settlements made possible by private whistleblowers. Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas have recovered a total of $2.3 billion in penalties, representing more than two-thirds of the financial penalties recovered in single-state settlements since 1991. Overall, since 2009, state governments have finalized more than twice as many settlements, for more than six times as much money, as they had from the previous 18 years combined.

The full release follows. The link at top takes you to the full report.

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