SLC Delegations and Technical Tours
June 23-24, 2013 | Atlanta, Georgia
Medicaid Program Integrity
Human Services & Public Safety Committee
A group of 10 SLC lawmakers assembled in Atlanta, Georgia, June 23 – 24, for a Medicaid Program Integrity Seminar. The event featured successful strategies for addressing Medicaid fraud, abuse, and payment errors, which cumulatively amount to more than $11 billion in lost state revenue, every year. The program included a panel discussion on program integrity “best practices,” featuring presentations by Inspector General Robert Finlayson of the Georgia Department of Community Health; Mindy Chavanelle, program specialist with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Improvement and Integrity; Dennis Garvey, director of the Program Integrity Division in the Bureau of TennCare; and John Kopp, Missouri assistant attorney general and deputy director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
The program also featured an overview of federal Medicaid activities by Chris Whatley, director of CSG’s Washington D.C. Office, as well as a presentation by Kavita Choudhry, manager of the Pew and MacArthur Initiative on State Health Care Spending, which has catalogued state policies and programs throughout the nation to address Medicaid fraud and abuse. The program was facilitated by Senator Emmett Hanger, Virginia, current SLC Human Services and Public Safety Committee Chair. Participants included Representative Sharon Cooper, Georgia, immediate past chair of the SLC Human Services and Public Safety Committee; Representative John Burris and Senators Jonathan Dismang and David Sanders, Arkansas; Representatives Marilyn Avila and Justin Burr and Senator Ralph Hise, North Carolina; and Senators Evan Jenkins and Ron Stollings, West Virginia.
The SLC delegation met with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Panama for a briefing on U.S. – Panama political, economic and social linkages, which included reference to the impact of the expansion of the Panama Canal and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States and Panama that was signed into law in October 2011. The briefings at the U.S. Embassy were carried out by Mr. James Perez, Economic Counselor and Mr. G. Nar Dao, Economic Officer. The delegation visited the offices of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Panama (AmCham Panama) for briefings and dialogue on the potential for expanding the economic and financial relationships between Panama and corporate and business interests in the SLC states. Providing information on these topics to the SLC delegation were Mr. C.E. Maurice Belanger, Executive Director of AmCham Panama, Ms. María Eugenia Fonseca, Mr. Hector Aguilar and Mr. Robert St. John, the 2013 President, Secretary and Director of AmCham Panama, respectively.