Pruitt chooses prosecutor to lead medicaid fraud control unit
Published: June 24th, 2011
Attorney General Scott Pruitt Friday (June 24) announced Assistant Attorney General Mykel Fry as the new head of Oklahoma’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
“Mykel Fry is a dedicated prosecutor who is well-suited to investigate and root out misuse of taxpayer funds by individuals or businesses through the Medicaid Program,” Pruitt said. “Under her leadership, the Unit will continue to scrutinize accusations of fraud, charge those who take advantage of the system and protect against patient abuse.”
Oklahoma’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit serves as a safeguard against service providers that dole out fraudulent, criminal or sometimes sub-par services to Oklahoma Medicaid recipients. In addition to prosecuting cases in which an individual has defrauded or abused someone in their care, the Unit prosecutes Medicaid providers who fraudulently bill the state through its Medicaid Program.
The Unit’s prosecutors investigate more than 100 cases of Medicaid fraud each year throughout the state. Since 2000, they have recovered nearly $78.5 million for the state through prosecution and restitution. During her tenure, Fry will focus on new training for law enforcement to help them recognize potential Medicaid fraud situations during criminal investigations. Prosecutors also plan to develop a database that includes information about Medicaid providers to improve the state’s ability to recognize and track fraud and patient Medicaid abuse.
“We are developing a database we hope will serve as a kind of Better Business Bureau to guard against Medicaid fraud,” Fry said. “It is important we create more tools to protect patients and taxpayers from misuse of a service meant for those in need.”
Fry, who is one of 12 women leading Medicaid fraud units nationwide, has been with the Attorney General’s Office since January 2009 as part of the Multicounty Grand Jury Unit. While assigned to the Unit, Fry served as an adviser to the multicounty grand jury and prosecutor in cases involving sex crimes, drugs, gambling and misuse of state property.
Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Fry served as an assistant district attorney in the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office. She was responsible for prosecuting juvenile and adult cases that primarily involved drugs, gangs, murder and capital murder.
Fry attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in finance. She earned her juris doctor at Oklahoma City University.
Health care costs are driving much of the legislative concern about state and federal budget challenges, as Medicare, Medicaid and other health-related programs consume increasing percentages of government spending at all levels.