Illinois took federal Medicaid money it couldn't repay, audit says

Elsewhere, an auditor in Louisiana questions data the governor's office has provided on the outlook of the state's Medicaid privatization efforts, and Florida pediatricians could soon see higher Medicaid payments.

Chicago Tribune: Illinois Took Too Much Money From Federal Medicaid Account, Audit Says
Illinois overdrew money from a federal Medicaid account by an average of $60 million per quarter over a three-year period because of "faulty" and "imprecise" practices, according to a federal audit released Monday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General said that the state's improper accounting in fiscal years 2010 through 2012 left it unable to repay the federal government the difference until two to six months later. As a result, the federal government may have lost as much as $792,000 in interest during that period (Frost, 8/18).

The Associated Press: Audit: Illinois Overdrew Federal Medicaid Dollars
Illinois used faulty methods for withdrawing federal Medicaid money, resulting in "a perpetual 'treadmill effect'" of regular overdraws of dollars that the state later had trouble repaying, federal auditors said in a report released Monday. The state's withdrawals exceeded its actual Medicaid spending by an average of $60 million per quarter during the three years reviewed, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (Johnson, 8/18).

The Associated Press: Louisiana Auditor Questions Data In Medicaid Program Review
An annual report evaluating Gov. Bobby Jindal's privatization of Medicaid lacked important financial information and presented rosy performance reviews not corroborated by data, according to a review released Monday. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office raised questions about the report that Jindal's Department of Health and Hospitals submitted to lawmakers in January. It analyzed the performance of the private managed-care networks handling Medicaid services. Under a state law enacted in 2013, the department is required to submit a yearly report about the performance of the Bayou Health program, an insurance-based model that covers 900,000 of Louisiana's 1.4 million Medicaid recipients, mostly pregnant women and children (DeSlate, 8/18).

Miami Herald: Pediatricians In Florida Could See Relief From Low Medicaid Payments
After years of hearings and delays, the possible resolution this fall of a class-action lawsuit against Florida health and child-welfare officials could mean that physicans will at last receive what they consider to be adequate compensation for treating children of the poor. The lawsuit, filed in 2005 by pediatricians, dentists and nine children against the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health, claimed that Florida violated federal law by providing inadequate Medicaid services to children, and that their care had been hampered by low Medicaid payments to doctors. A federal judge is expected to rule on the case in October (Madigan, 8/18).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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