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Archive for Friday, June 30, 2006

Kansas must repay $18.5M for Medicaid misspending

June 30, 2006

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Kansas has agreed to repay another $18.5 million to the U.S. government after auditors found the state misspent money from the federal Medicaid program.

That makes $32.6 million the state has agreed to pay back this year. And the refund tally could grow, given that $135 million in federal aid has been under review.

Kansas earlier agreed to refund $14.1 million to compensate for incorrect billings detected by a series of audits by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

The latest round of agreed paybacks will be made public today in a report released by the inspector general's office.

"It's a new figure independent from findings of previous reports," Laura Bradbard, a spokeswoman for the office, said Thursday.

Bradbard and auditors in the office declined further 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.

"There's a bunch of these in a variety of states, " she said.

Kansas officials most directly involved with the Medicaid audits were unavailable for comment Thursday.

But Luke Thompson, legislative liaison for the Kansas Health Policy Authority, confirmed the state has agreed it will reimburse the federal government for the new sum spelled out by the inspector general's office.

The authority will assume responsibility for the state's Medicaid program next week.

The recently empowered authority also will oversee HealthWave, the state's health insurance program for children in low-income families, and the health insurance program that covers state employees.

Federal auditors uncovered a bevy of problems with the way Kansas was distributing Medicaid money to public schools for health services.

An audit report released in February examined how Kansas billed Medicaid to pay for services for children with special needs. Investigators said a sample of 300 Medicaid claims from three school districts - Wichita, Kansas City and the Central Kansas Cooperative - in 2002 turned up 217 claims that shouldn't have been paid:

¢ Seventy-six claims lacked a required doctor's order for occupation and speech-language therapy services.

¢ One hundred thirty-nine claims lacked evidence that services had ever been rendered.

¢ Two claims lacked a required doctor's order for physical therapy.

Another audit showed the state was using Medicaid dollars to fund 12 months of services per year instead of the allowed nine months.

"We didn't pay for services that weren't provided. These were services that were received for 12 months," said Gavin Young, a spokesman at the state Division of Health Policy and Finance. "But the regulations say we can only pay for nine months' worth."

How that payback or the shift to a correct nine-month billing schedule will affect children receiving services - physical, occupational and speech therapies, mostly - remains to be seen.

Most of the audits examined payments made in fiscal years 1998 through 2003.

According to the audit report to be released today, "Kansas did not have adequate internal controls to ensure that it correctly developed the payment rate" for services.

Comments

ASBESTOS 8 years, 3 months ago

The battle cry of any Kansas Governmental Agency:

"Kansas officials most directly involved with the Medicaid audits were unavailable for comment Thursday."

Problems with ANY Kansas Governmental Agency:

"According to the audit report to be released today, "Kansas did not have adequate internal controls to ensure that it correctly developed the payment rate" for services."

SO KDHE waits until a house blows up and then need to have an "internal discussion".

Not the medicaid folks bill too much and do not have adequate internal controls.

Just who in the hell are these government agencies hiring??

FOlks we gotta clean these agencies up.

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scott3460 8 years, 3 months ago

Feds grabbing money back from the States after placing on them the burden of administering the program and running the risk of such disagreements. More upstanding ethics from the Bush administration. Unless outright fraud or theft is involved, why is this administration stepping in after the fact to disallow money that was spent to help people? Shameful!! But as I said, it is the Bush administration, so we should know to expect this sort of thinking by now.

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lawrence_citizen 8 years, 3 months ago

I konw people that "misspent" Medicaid money and are now spending time in a Federal prison. don't suppose anything like that will happen here, though.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 3 months ago

so they over paid people and now have to pay it back so who in the end is going to pay for all this?

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ASBESTOS 8 years, 3 months ago

"More upstanding ethics from the Bush administration."

I think if you check this is a "legacy" program that is being audited. It has been around for a LONG time even before the CLinton Admin I think, I would have to check that though. NO this is really bloated government agencies, and who is in the WHite house has little effect on this. Say ing it is so don't make it so.

This is nothe new "Plan D". We have YET to see the results of that. YOu can't lay blame on a program that was never touched.

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scott3460 8 years, 3 months ago

"I think if you check this is a "legacy" program that is being audited. It has been around for a LONG time even before the CLinton Admin I think, I would have to check that though. NO this is really bloated government agencies, and who is in the WHite house has little effect on this. Say ing it is so don't make it so."

No way, this Administration's agency decided to stick it to the states in this manner. This is a policy decision of the Bush Administration. And a bad one, in my opinion. Trying to blame "bloated" government agencies won't get you very far on this one. This boils down to the feds dreaming up some way of reducing the budget deficit by sticking it to the States. Typical cowardly & underhanded Bush tactics. They know they can't get away with making the cuts they want to make in these programs, so they dream up these interpretations of what is appropriate spending and disallow the cuts they want to make. As I said, shameful, but by now, certainly expected of the folks running our federal government.

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ASBESTOS 8 years, 3 months ago

IN 2001 and 2002 the BUsh admin was almost entirely engaged on the WoT. There was very little movement or support for anything on the social services side. I think you are lettlng BUSH HATE drive your opinion. I can't find any directives of that time frame on the USDHHS website on these audits. So there is not written policy, sorry dude.

It is bloated governmental agencies.

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