Topeka Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Friday she was frustrated with the federal government because of $32.6 million the state must repay for disputed Medicaid expenditures.
"The rules continue to change and that really is the growing frustration," Sebelius said. "We have plans that are approved only to be told down the way that that really isn't the way they are going to audit anymore, it's really not the way they are going to count anymore."
Laura Bradbard, a spokeswoman for the federal agency handling the audits, declined comment, saying it was too early to talk about the report. The state will have 30 days to file a formal reply.
Judy Holtz, another federal spokeswoman, said the audits of Medicaid spending in Kansas were similar to others taking place across the nation.
Sebelius said many states had tried to come to some kind of agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services. Its Office of Inspector General did the audits.
"It's a topic that all governors have high on our agenda every time we meet with the (HHS) secretary and the White House," she said. "I think this dispute involves some claims made in 2001 and 2002. We'd kind of like to resolve this and have a global settlement, if you will, and move forward."
Federal auditors uncovered several problems with the way Kansas was distributing Medicaid money to public schools for health services.
Kansas has agreed to repay $18.5 million to the U.S. government on top of $14.1 million to compensate for incorrect billings.
Sebelius said there might be funds that the federal government had to pay back to Kansas in the future.
"They have been withholding some payments as overview goes on, and so it's a little difficult at any point to put a finite dollar amount on it," she said. "But there are millions of dollars in dispute, not only in Kansas but in states around the country."