State Senator Hugh Farley and members of the Senate Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud and Reform unveiled a sweeping set of policy recommendations that will empower localities to boost their own Medicaid fraud efforts, more aggressively combat waste and the overutilization of services, and save taxpayers up to $500 million a year. "Medicaid is the largest part of our state budget, and a huge burden on localities," said Senator Hugh Farley. "If we are going to do anything to solve our fiscal crisis, Medicaid fraud and Medicaid reform have to be addressed." The recommendations include authorizing the referral of all fraud cases to local district attorneys, per their request, in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to prosecute fraud, while permitting counties to keep a portion of all fraud recoveries they obtain. In addition, the Task Force recommends allowing counties to have access to the State Medicaid Data warehouse so they may use additional information to uncover billing patterns that may suggest fraud or the overutilization of services. The Task Force also calls for creation of a new automated system to alert counties when their residents become incarcerated, and therefore, ineligible for Medicaid. Additional Task Force recommendations include: * Requiring recipients to choose a primary doctor and a primary pharmacist, similar to managed care plans. * Allowing elected comptrollers, treasurers, or other appointed officials to audit Medicaid claims. * Preventing individuals from being forced to go to other counties or states for long-term care.