Vermont Introducing Legislation to Add State False Claims Act

MONTPELIER — At the suggestion of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, Senate lawmakers will introduce false claims legislation next week targeted at preventing fraud in the state’s health care system.

“As we’re moving to a world where the state’s role in health care is greatly expanded, ensuring that Vermont has the tools to protect its money from waste fraud and abuse is critically important,” said John Treadwell, chief of the criminal division in the Attorney General’s Office.

Vermont’s planned universal health care program would make state government the primary payer of nearly all medical claims, hence the aphorism single-payer.

The legislation will mimic the federal False Claims Act, which dates back to the Civil War and was designed to punish unscrupulous vendors for selling the Union faulty weapons or other equipment.

Passing a Vermont false claims act targeted at fraud in the health care system, specifically Medicaid – which receives federal matching dollars but is a large expense to the state – will have immediate benefits, Treadwell said.

If states pass their own federally compliant false claims acts, they can keep a larger percentage of the money recovered from resulting lawsuits and settlements.

Click here to read more in the Brattleboro Reformer.