Oregon House Dems vote to support Medicaid fraud


Allow Crooks To Steal Money From Those That Truly Need Help

Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend)

Salem, OR – Several months ago the Oregon State Senate unanimously passed legislation that could potentially save the State of Oregon millions of dollars each year with no costs up front to implement this program. Yet, the Medicaid Fraud Early Detection Act of 2013 (Senate Bill 753) has been blocked by House Democrat Leadership to receive a floor vote for this legislation. However, Representative Jason Conger (R-Bend) made a motion to bring SB 753 to the floor for an up or down vote. This motion was defeated on a partisan vote with no debate allowed. SB 753 extends the latest in technology fraud fighting to preventing fraud before it happens, by reducing both improper payments, cost, and time involved with traditional “pay and chase” recovery.

“I think it is sad that Democrats would vote to continue to support Medicaid Fraud when this bi-partisan Senate Bill could help save millions in tax dollars and help limit fraud,” said sponsor Tim Knopp.

SB 753 passed House Committee on Health Care on a unanimous vote, but upon passage it was sent to Rules Committee at the request of the Speaker. Even though during committee hearings in both Senate and House Committees on Health Care it received rave reviews form legislators, fraud-prevention experts and Bruce Goldberg, the Director of the Oregon Health Authority.

“As I think committee members know, as an agency we have been trying to be neutral on bills, having said that, this is a good bill,” Goldberg testified. “What this bill really does is capitalize on new technology that is just becoming available that has a variety of predictive modeling built in to our payment systems.”

Annually, the federal government estimates that state Medicaid programs forfeits around $18 billion dollars that is attributed to fraud, waste and abuse. Additionally Medicaid is expanding its coverage increasing the likelihood that more criminals will take resources away from those who truly need help. A recent Washington Post outlines the expansion “In Oregon alone, Medicaid is expected to enroll 400,000 new patients by 2022, nearly doubling its current numbers, according to an Urban Institute analysis.”