Federal Audit Uncovers Tens of Millions in Improper Medicaid Payments in NC

RALEIGH – Surprise, surprise! Taxpayer money has allegedly been wasted in a bloated, bureaucratic, redistributing healthcare ‘entitlement’ known as Medicaid.

Dating back to Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue, and into the administration of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, Medicaid workers in the Old North State improperly paid out tens of millions of dollars in Medicaid claims as concluded in an audit performed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

As reported in the Raleigh News & Observer:

And now the feds want that money back.

The Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services released the report Thursday afternoon. It detailed how under the watch of both Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, an error by state workers in charge of processing Medicaid claims led to an estimated $63 million in improper Medicaid payments.

The federal government picked up most of the tab for those payments, pitching in $41.2 million that has been identified to date.

The state examined a random sampling of 200 cases in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and concluded all of them were initially paid incorrectly. Just 16 were later fixed. The report recommended that North Carolina pay back the $41.2 million and also ensure that the state system complies with the law in the future.

But the state is fighting back and doesn’t appear to intend to pay what the feds say they’re owed.

“North Carolina disagreed with our findings and recommendations,” the report says – although it notes that the federal government doesn’t plan to back down, either.

“After reviewing North Carolina’s comments, we maintain that the evidence supports our findings and recommendations.”

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It is no wonder that such waste exists in the labyrinth of handouts by the federal government. Kudos to the Trump administration for catching the error, but it’s still a shame that so much money is being redistributed from hardworking taxpayers to programs that have been proven ripe with fraud and waste.

The metro paper article referenced above features a big picture of Dr. Aldona Vos and Gov. McCrory, essentially putting the error on and waste on Republicans. Yet it also mentions that the State corrected the errors sometime ago – quite sometime ago.

“…both the federal government and state government agree that the state doesn’t appear to be making any improper payments now that could cost taxpayers in the future.

Cohen’s letter said the state changed its system to get into compliance on July 1, 2013″

That’s less than six months into the new McCrory administration.

Admitting Vos fixed this problem – with in six months – and reversed Medicaid overruns in a significant way, the author goes on to close this article out with a litany of McCrory era ‘abuses’ and lay the blame at their feet.

If anything they should be getting a prize for quickly cleaning up the errors apparently persistent during the Perdue administration and protecting against waste.

It’s not clear how the final settlement will look between the State and the federal government at this point, but thank goodness that hole was plugged or Perdue might have cost N.C> taxpayers millions more of their hard earned money.

 

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