Gov. Mike Parson talks Medicaid at press conference

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JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson held a conference Friday afternoon discussing what needs to be done to fix abuse and fraud within Medicaid.

Gov. Parson said the Medicaid industry is a more-than $10 billion dollar industry in the state of Missouri. He met with the task force and discussed what steps they can take to make this better for everyone in the state.

"What we really want is to help the people that need the help," Parson said. "We want to make sure, 1.) that we can provide those services, 2.) it's as affordable as possible, and 3.) the people abusing the system need to be accountable for that."

Incoming Attorney General, Eric Schmitt was adamant about the need for dollars being spent in the state to be intended for people that need Medicaid the most.

"It's not intended for fraudsters. It's not intended for criminals," Schmitt said.

Director Todd Richardson of MO HealthNet, the state's medicaid program, said the program has a big responsible to uphold.

"We have to make sure this program is sustainable," Richardson said. "It is the primary healthcare for nearly a million Missourians."

Richardson said his goal is to run the best medicaid program in the country and his team is ready to take everything head on.

"My position is this, we are not going to be expanding eligibility in the program," Richardson said. "My focus is going to be on making sure that we create the efficiency and the long term financial stability we need in the program, to make sure it's sustainable. Not just this year, not just next year, but into the future."

Gov. Parson said the point of the task force is trying to find solutions, where the problems are and finding ways to fix them.

"This is an area that we need to get under control," Parson said. "We learned earlier that there's about $170 million dollars that people owe the state of Missouri."

Parson said everyone in the task force is devoted in getting better with the medicaid system for Missouri.