A report by State Auditor David Vaudt, says the state overpaid thousands of dollars of Medicaid claims in a period from July 2006 through December 2008. Vaudt says the claims involved payments after patients had died.
Vaudt says in some cases the payments are set up on a monthly basis, and if the patient’s death isn’t reported promptly, the payments can continue. He says they sampled about 1,100 claims in a two-and-a-half year period out of over 350,000 claims paid. Vaudt says they found one in five claims had been paid even after the recipient died. And in one case he says a recipient was still receiving monthly payments more than three years after their death.
Vaudt says his review found payments totaling over $26,000 to recipients who had died. Vaudt says they have made recommendations on how the claims can be handled more effectively. Vaudt says his office got death record information from the Department of Public Health and used that to cross check Medicaid recipients to see if someone who had died was still receiving payments. He says the good news is that D.H.S. is now using that method. Vaudt says he is concerned that there may be more dollars out there the state has wrongly paid.
Vaudt says D.H.S. was able to recover most of the improper payments his office discovered, and so they have been encouraged to look at more of the claims to see if there are additional funds that could be recovered. A copy of the report is available for review on the auditor’s website .