House Committee Seeks Data From 29 Companies in Medicaid Fraud Probe
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has sent letters to 26 pharmaceutical companies and three prescription drug wholesalers to seek information on their Medicaid prices and billing practices as part of a fraud investigation, the Bloomberg/Boston Globe reports. The committee sent letters to pharmaceutical companies including Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline and prescription drug wholesalers AmeriSourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. In addition, the committee asked U.S. Oncology, which manages practices for cancer specialists, for records related to Medicaid prescription drug reimbursements and rebates. The committee sent the letters as part of a Medicaid fraud investigation that stems from a similar Medicare probe, which found discrepancies between the prices that pharmaceutical companies charged physicians for their products and the amount that Medicare reimbursed the physicians for the medications. Paul Heldman, a health care analyst for the Schwab Washington Research Group, said, "The committee has been very aggressive in probing the pricing practices of the pharmaceutical industry concerning Medicare and Medicaid" (Bloomberg/Boston Globe, 6/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.