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Medicaid Scammers Yield $53M

  State investigators recouped more than $53 million last year from Medicaid scammers.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says about half the money came from a settlement with drugmaker Pfizer after investigators found the company was paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe certain drugs.  The rest came from a long list of smaller cases. Cooper says the Medicaid Investigative Unit netted 22 criminal convictions and 18 civil settlements over the past year.

"There are a lot of medical providers out there who want to take advantage of the Medicaid system. And when they do that, they cheat not only the needy patients who need the healthcare, but they rob taxpayers and they push medical costs higher for all of us."

Cooper says the fraud unit works closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to flag and follow up on suspicious claims.  State lawmakers gave the unit 25 more staffers in last year’s budget

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