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    Posted June 15, 2012 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    Cost to Find $20 Million in Medicaid Fraud - $80 Million


    In  another example of how well our federal government spends taxpayer  money, a report is out which states that the government spent $80  million to find $20 million in Medicaid fraud. The contracts with the  fraud hunters have been cancelled or being reassigned.

    Private  contractors received $102 million to review Medicaid fraud data, yet  had only found about $20 million in overpayments since 2008, according  to a new report by the federal government.

    "Significant federal  and state resources are being poured in but only limited results are  coming out," said Ann Maxwell, a regional inspector general for the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services.

    The audits were found  to be so ineffective they were stopped or put on hold, according to a  report by the Government Accountability Office. The agency studied  Medicaid audits performed by 10 companies.

    The report was  presented Thursday to the Senate subcommittee on Federal Financial  Management, which is chaired by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del. Carper and  ranking member Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., said they were disappointed  the committee was just now learning of the audit results.

    "No  accountability, no responsibility, no consequence for failure ... it's  not about second guessing, it's about holding people responsible," Brown  said.

    Last week, federal health officials ended their contracts with three of the contractors. Two others will be reassigned.

    The  audits relied on Medicaid data that was often missing basic  information, such as beneficiary's names or addresses and provider ID  numbers, experts testified during a Senate hearing Thursday. The federal  government doesn't share the names of potential criminals in the  Medicare fraud program with states. That means state officials can't  check to see if those providers are enrolled in the Medicaid program.  States also do not have a uniform technology system to share data.

    "National Medicaid data are not current, they are not complete and they are not accurate," Maxwell said.

    The  Medicaid program lost nearly $22 billion to fraud last year, the second  highest amount of fraud for any federal program. Medicare, which  provides health coverage for seniors, tops the list with more than $60  billion.

    States mostly ran their own Medicaid fraud programs until 2005 when a law expanded federal oversight.

    Federal  health officials said they will work more closely with states in the  future and announced a major push to improve data sharing last week.


    From the Cornfield, once again we see what happens when oversight is moved from the states and given to the federal government.

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