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March 29, 2018

For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Steve Marshall
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 2
Alabama Attorney General

(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, along with a
bipartisan group of 48 other state and territory attorneys general, is asking Congress to ease
federal restrictions that limit States’ ability to investigate and prosecute the abuse and
neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries.
Attorney General Marshall and the other attorneys general yesterday sent a letter to
U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg, R-Mich., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., in support of their
legislation, H.R. 3891, which would expand the authority of Medicaid Fraud Control Units
(MFCUs) to detect, investigate and prosecute Medicaid patient abuse in non-institutional
If enacted, the legislation would allow state MFCUs, most of which are housed
within state attorney general’s offices, to investigate and prosecute abuse and neglect of
Medicaid beneficiaries in non-institutional settings and broaden their authority to screen
complaints or reports alleging potential abuse or neglect. Under current law, MFCUs may
investigate and prosecute patient abuse and neglect only if it occurs in a healthcare facility
or, in some circumstances, in a board and care facility. That means other cases of abuse and
neglect of Medicaid patients – such as in a home health care setting – fall outside the unit’s
“In the past, most Medicaid services were provided in healthcare facilities, but over
time the way services are delivered has changed and expanded to better meet needs and
current lifestyles. In many cases, Medicaid services now are provided to clients in their own
homes, transportation assistance may be covered, and other community-based services are
available,” said Attorney General Marshall. “We need the authority to protect all Medicaid
recipients, but currently it is limited to those in traditional facilities. Wherever Medicaid
services are provided, we need to be able to investigate and prosecute providers who are
neglectful or abusive.”
Attorney General Marshall’s office has a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit that
investigates and prosecutes cases of fraud by Medicaid providers as well as abuse, neglect
and financial exploitation. People with concerns may contact the Unit through email at
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us Page 2 of 2

The attorneys general also stressed to the lawmakers the importance of expanding
this authority in light of the national opioid epidemic. The bill would, for example, give
states the authority to investigate and prosecute cases of unlawful opioid distribution to
Medicaid beneficiaries, which under current law they may only do if the case occurred
within a health care facility or a board and care facility.
The legislation came after a similar group of 38 attorneys general wrote to then-U.S.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price in May of 2017, asking for changes in
federal regulation to give the states this expanded authority. However, the Department
concluded that the expanded authority would require a change in federal law that could
not be done through the regulatory process. The bill, introduced by Walberg and Welch,
was in direct response to the attorneys general’s letter and subsequent response from the
In addition to Attorney General Marshall in Alabama, the other attorneys general
who signed the letter were of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New
York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington,
West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
A copy of the letter is available through this link.