The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director (TBI) says more than two dozen more staffers are being proposed in next year’s fiscal state budget because of the possible fraud of more than a billion dollars.
The TBI was one of several agencies to appear before the Tennessee House Finance Ways and Means Committee on its first day of state budget hearings.
TBI Director David Rausch said he hopes lawmakers approve an additional 26 positions in the agency’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
He told the committee that currently there are “38 positions addressing the fraud and abuse that takes place in our state.”
The group looks for wrongdoing in the state’s huge $12 Billion Medicaid program, TennCare, that takes up about 30-percent of the state budget. But Rausch says federal government officials want states to help them be watchdogs.
“What they tell us is about ten percent of the appropriation is what is fraudulently used and abused,” he told News 2 after Monday’s hearing.
That means works out of a figure of more than a billion dollars the state’s Medicaid program.
The TBI is also one of the state agencies on the frontlines of the opioid crisis where it got some of the help it wanted last year.
“The ten agents that were approved last year actually they will be working very specifically on the opioid crisis,” said Rausch.
Before Rausch took over last year, a state legislative task force has recommended 25-agents to fight the growing drug abuse crisis and help the TBI with an increasing workload of help local agencies investigating crime.