Beth Wood, who serves as North Carolina State Auditor, reported the “state Department of Health and Human Services improperly paid more than $100 million in Medicaid claims during fiscal year 2018.” The “errors” consisted of “overpayments to providers, along with benefits paid to ineligible recipients.”
North Carolina’s audit is just one of many examples of states uncovering errors and fraud within Medicaid. States that have audited their Medicaid programs have found shocking results. Jonathan Ingram at the Foundation for Government Accountability describes some of the Medicaid fraud findings from around the country.
Medicaid mismanagement and fraud not only are wasteful of taxpayers’ dollars, but it also hurts those who truly need services. In North Carolina’s case the Department of Health and Human Services “overpaid an estimated $71.7 million that could have been used to provide additional services to other eligible beneficiaries or reduce overall program costs.”
For most states, Medicaid is a leading budget driver and regular program audits and reviews will not only serve taxpayers better but also ensure that people who truly need services are able to get the help that is needed.