Officials with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals say they’re cracking down on the loss of some state dollars that sometimes occurs when a patient goes into a nursing home. A patient about to go on Medicaid may sell a home or other property to a family member for less than fair market value, or even transfer it free of charge.
The Department’s Steve Mandernach says investigators are finding those cases, and the state is billing the family for the full value of the home to help cover the Medicaid bill — which he says has lead to “a dramatic increase in recovered money.” “Because we’ve put a bigger emphasis on those assets that have been essentially given away for less than fair market value,” Mandernach says.
Mandernach believes there’s more potential cases out there to investigate. Mandernach says, “It’s a pretty efficient recovery process, It’s just having enough people to go out and investigate every potential transfer, which is something we don’t have at this point. ” He says they hit the ones that appear to be the largest.
Five investigators recovered close to two million dollars last year. Based on one of the recommendation from a consultant’s efficiency report, Governor Culver will ask state lawmakers to fund seven more investigators.