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House Bill 518 — Medicaid fraud, penalties

House Bill 518 — Medicaid fraud, penalties

by
Parrish Miller
February 12, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 518 would increase the penalties for Medicaid fraud. 

Rating: +1

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

House Bill 518 would amend Section 56-226, Idaho Code, to say, "The medicaid fraud control unit shall be permitted to seek court-ordered restitution as reimbursement for the cost of investigation from those individuals successfully prosecuted for violations of any applicable Idaho laws pertaining to fraud in the administration of the medicaid program, the provision of medical assistance, or the activities of providers of medical assistance and services under the state plan. Any restitution payments received pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the state general fund."

It would also amend Section 56-227A, Idaho Code, to say, "Any provider or person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be subject to a term of imprisonment not to exceed fifteen (15) years, or a fine not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or both, and shall be ordered to make restitution to the department or any other person for any financial loss sustained as a result of a violation of this section."

Medicaid fraud is a nonviolent crime, but it is far from victimless, costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year. House Bill 518 is primarily focused on obtaining restitution from offenders, which is the appropriate course of action. 

The bill also increases the maximum period of incarceration, which is counterintuitive because incarceration imposes an additional burden on taxpayers and is a non-restorative penalty. The bill does not impose any mandatory minimum sentence requirements or mandate any incarceration, however, which allows for judicial discretion in sentencing. 

(+1)

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