Arkansas Prepares to Launch Medicaid Inspector General Office

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013 4:11 pm  

"I think some of it will be fleshed out in rules and regulations and how the office is actually set up," said Bo Ryall, president and CEO of the Arkansas Hospital Association. "I think it remains to be seen if it's not adding a new layer of audit bureaucracy."

David Wroten, executive vice president of the Arkansas Medical Society, said those concerns will ultimately hinge on who Beebe selects to run the new office. The society represents 4,300 physicians and medical students in the state.

"That's the thing about inspector general programs. They're pretty heavily dependent on who that person is and how responsive they are to the state," Wroten said. "If you end up with an inspector that seems to be on a witch hunt, really bringing in people who haven't done anything wrong, then we would have a problem with it."

The new law, which takes effect July 1, requires that the inspector general have at least 10 years of experience in prosecution for fraud, fraud investigation, auditing or comparable experience in health care. Beebe said he expected to soon begin looking at potential candidates for the IG position.

"You want someone who's intelligent but who has all the objectivity and integrity in the world so they have credibility, somebody without any preconceived notions of ideology one way or the other," Beebe said.

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