LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Mike Beebe on Thursday named Jay Shue of Little Rock as the state’s first Medicaid inspector general.
Shue, 43, has directed the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at the state attorney general’s office since 2007. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as a deputy prosecutor for the 6th Judicial District.
Act 1499 of this year created the position of Medicaid inspector general to oversee an office that will work to prevent, detect and investigate Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse.
“We are fortunate to have someone like Jay whose background fits the very specific requirements of this position, and whose leadership experience will help get this office started on the right foot,” Beebe said in a statement released by his office.
Shue will receive an annual salary of $145,000. His salary at the attorney general’s office was $106,746.
His staff will include 31 current employees of the state Department of Human Services’ Program Integrity Unit who will be transferred to his office, a chief counsel who already has been hired at an annual salary of $112,00 and two fraud investigators who have not yet been hired.
“I’m thrilled to be appointed by the governor (at) this exciting time for Arkansas,” Shue said, noting that the state is pursuing a plan to use federal Medicaid dollars to purchase private insurance for about 250,000 low-income Arkansans who now lack health insurance.
Shue’s office will report to the governor, not to DHS. Shue said his office should be able to highlight waste, fraud and abuse that might otherwise be “lost in the shuffle” at a large agency like DHS.
Under the new law, the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General will officially be created on July 1. The physical location of the office has not yet been determined.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Thursday, “Through his work in my office, Jay has demonstrated that he is the best person for the job of inspector general. He has earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues across the nation for his efforts to fight Medicaid fraud.”
Sen. David Sanders, R-Little Rock, who sponsored the legislation that became Act 1499, said the appointment was “a significant step in terms of showing that in Arkansas we take seriously the problem of waste, fraud and abuse, both eliminating it but also preventing it.”
Sanders said the new office’s independence from DHS should help it function effectively.
“They’re not buried in bureaucracy,” he said.