(a) It is the purpose of the Legislature to continue the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit previously established within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and to provide it with the responsibility and authority for investigating and controlling fraud and abuse of the medical programs of the state Department of Health and Human Resources which have been established pursuant to section two, article four of this chapter. It is the finding of the Legislature that substantial sums of money have been lost to the state and federal government in the operation of the medical programs of the state due to the overpayment of moneys to medical providers. Such overpayments have been the result of both the abuse of and fraud in the reimbursement process.
(b) The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the State Department of Health and Human Resources shall be continued and shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) The investigation and referral for prosecution of all violations of applicable state and federal laws pertaining to the provision of goods or services under the medical programs of the state including the Medicaid program.
(2) The investigation of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of residents in board and care facilities and patients in health care facilities which receive payments under the medical programs of the state.
(3) To cooperate with the federal government in all programs designed to detect and deter fraud and abuse in the medical programs of the state.
(4) To employ and train personnel to achieve the purposes of this article and to employ legal counsel, investigators, Auditors and clerical support personnel and such other personnel as are deemed necessary from time to time to accomplish the purposes herein.