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(Little Rock) (AP) – An Arkansas House committee has advanced a Senate-approved proposal to establish a new state office to investigate fraud and abuse in the Medicaid program.

The House State Agencies committee on Wednesday passed a bill creating the position of Medicaid inspector general. The inspector general’s office would be charged with preventing, detecting and investigating fraud and abuse within the Medicaid program.

It would be able to pursue civil enforcement actions and refer criminal cases to prosecutors. The inspector general would be appointed by the governor – subject to Senate confirmation.

The proposal now goes to the full House for a vote. It is 1 of several Medicaid reform measures lawmakers are considering as they consider using additional Medicaid funding to subsidize health care coverage to low-income residents.

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