Clay’s Weekly Medicaid RoundUp: Week of May 25th 2018

Soundtrack for today’s RoundUp pessimist readers-

For optimist readers- (A Dick Cavett reference for my friend Jeff, the Tall Irishman)


 ABOUT LAST WEEK- There was way too much parenthetical thought (I apologize). [I will try to do better this week]. I promise.

 MINNESOTA ASKS FOR WAIVER TO ALLOW RESIDENTIAL SA TREATMENT- Now that views on residential treatment in places with more than 16 beds are changing (under the weight of the opioid epidemic), states are looking to relax rules meant to defund those horror-story mental health facilities from back in the day. If approved, MN will join 11 other states who have recently received the exemption to allow drug addiction treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds.

 NC ADDS WORK REQUIREMENTS TO MUCH-WATCHED WAIVER REQUEST- Journalists now see this as a poison pill to the NC effort based on 1 comment Verma made a few weeks ago about concerns over non-expansion states and work requirements.

GEM STATE REACHES VOTER CRITICAL MASS- The evolving nature of U.S. Government- in which the Constitution is but a piece of junk mail sent to us from those crusty, silly, old (add in still-socially acceptable slur here) guys back in the day from some place in the Northeast I think- now includes voters taking over the power of appropriations from Congress. Seems voters in Idaho are joining the mob of MoveOn-ers who think they can ballot anything they want into existence. Idaho activists confirmed they reached the necessary 58,000 signatures to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot in November. If they had to pay for what they are voting for, they would swipe their card for $3,206 (each, annually) to cover the costs (state and federal) for the 62,000 members their vote will add to the Medicaid rolls. But we all know its silly to expect voters to consider costs of their decisions. That’s someone else’s problem, right?

LEPAGE MAY GET OVERRULED- A Maine judge is deciding whether to order the state DHS to file a waiver request for expansion as chosen by voters. Roundup readers will remember that the Good Guvn’r LePage said he ain’t doing nothin’ to move it forward unless the legislature funds it.

SD WORK REQUIREMENTS PLAN GIVES SECOND CHANCES- SD policy makers have added another step before getting booted off if you don’t meet work requirements. Under the new proposal, bennies would get on a corrective action plan after not working 80 hours in a given month. Then if the CAP doesn’t fix it, they would get booted. The new feature is designed to avoid getting shot down by CMS as “too harsh” in a non-expansion state.

EVERGREEN STATE ANNOUNCES MCO WINNERS- The latest round of MCO awards in Washington concluded this week. Congrats to Amerigroup, Molina, UHC, CHPW and Coordinated Care. Special congrats to Molina and Amerigroup who nabbed statewide contracts for integrated care in all 9 regions.

VA LETS EVERYBODY DOWN-  Everybody hoping for expansion this week, anyway. Virginia Dems were expected to push through an expansion vote on Tuesday, but needed 1 Republican to defect to the SpendMore side. Without getting to much into the weeds of VA legislative procedure, basically this bill needs to get out of committee and it didn’t do that just yet. The majority leader in the VA senate announced this week that he expects it to pass, even if it does take a minute to work out the details. Be patient my dear Dems – you will be able to implode the VA state budget soon enough.

IOWA ON THE REBOUND WITH CENTENE – After a nasty breakup with Amerihealth, Iowa announced Centene is its new love interest this week. Announced this week, will start July 2019. Congratulations to all our Centene colleagues!

 FARRIS’S FANTASTIC FRAUD FOLLIES– And now for everybody’s favorite paragraph. Let’s start the ticker and see who wins this week’s award. Khurram Gondal of Ticonderoga, NY (and 11 other co-conspirators) were arrested this week for defrauding Medicaid out of at least $8M using their bogus transportation business. This scheme includes trips that never happened and kickbacks to complicit bennies. Roshanak Khadem (and 4 others) of Los Angeles were arrested on Tuesday for their part in a $20M scheme. Khadem (aided by a former Anthem investigator, who knew the ropes) and team would bill MCOs for things not provided using the billing numbers from bennies who were happy to get “discounts” on cosmetic procedures. Seems an allergy-related lab test CPT code was a hole about the size of a Mac truck in the MCO edits system. Keisha Demas of Brooklyn was arraigned this week for stealing about $500k, of which $60k was from NY Medicaid via a false claims scam related to her role as a nurse at Interfaith Medical Center.  Congrats, Roshanak- using a former MCO investigator as a fraud consultant gives you the style points needed to win this week!

That’s it for this week. As always, please send me a note with your thoughts to or give me a buzz at 919.727.9231. Get outside (take some cutting, and propagate something already doing well on your property) and keep running the race (you know who you are).

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