CHAPTER 9. HUMAN SERVICES.

§9-7-1. Legislative purpose and findings; powers and duties of fraud control unit; transfer to the Office of the Attorney General; legislative report.

(a) It is the purpose of the Legislature to continue the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit previously established within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and to provide it with the responsibility and authority for investigating and controlling fraud and abuse of the medical programs of the state Department of Health and Human Resources which have been established pursuant to §9-4-2 of this code: Provided, That effective October 1, 2019, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit shall be transferred to the Office of the Attorney General pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. It is the finding of the Legislature that substantial sums of money have been lost to the state and federal government in the operation of the medical programs of the state due to the overpayment of moneys to medical providers. Such overpayments have been the result of both the abuse of and fraud in the reimbursement process.

(b) The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) The investigation and referral for prosecution of all violations of applicable state and federal laws pertaining to the provision of goods or services under the medical programs of the state including the Medicaid program.

(2) The investigation of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of residents in board and care facilities and patients in health care facilities which receive payments under the medical programs of the state.

(3) To cooperate with the federal government in all programs designed to detect and deter fraud and abuse in the medical programs of the state.

(4) To employ and train personnel to achieve the purposes of this article and to employ legal counsel, investigators, auditors, and clerical support personnel and such other personnel as are deemed necessary from time to time to accomplish the purposes herein.

(c) Effective October 1, 2019, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit shall be transferred to the Office of the Attorney General. All rights, responsibilities, powers, and duties of the unit shall be transferred to the Office of the Attorney General, including the administration and authority of the Medicaid Fraud Control Fund. All employees of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit shall be transferred to and become employees of the Office of the Attorney General at their existing hourly rate or salary and with all accrued benefits. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit"s authorities, powers, and duties shall remain unchanged by this subsection.

(d) On or before December 31, 2022, the Legislative Auditor shall study and report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on the performance of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit within the Office of the Attorney General during the previous three years compared to the performance of the unit while it was established within the Department of Health and Human Resources.

§9-7-1. Legislative purpose and findings; powers and duties of fraud control unit; transfer to the Office of the Attorney General; legislative report.