GAO Stresses Need to Involve State Auditors During Medicaid Improper Payments Hearing
Section: Around the Nation

This week, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing exploring problems and solutions for Medicaid fraud and overpayments. The panel heard testimony from the U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro and Brian Ritchie, assistant inspector general for audit services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The issue of Medicaid has been the subject of previous hearings at the subcommittee level and it is anticipated that more will follow. Congressional members remain concerned that there is not proper oversight of the program and that the number of improper payments continues to grow.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has made 83 recommendations to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, however, only 25 have been addressed to date. Just this week, CMS issued a plan to address program integrity. Both Mr. Dodaro and Mr. Ritchie said the plan is a good step but that more needs to be done. 

During the hearing, Mr. Dodaro stressed the need to involve the state audit community in addressing improper payments in the Medicaid program noting that several states including Louisiana, Mississippi and Massachusetts had already begun to address the issue. 

Mr. Dodaro said CMS should do what it can to help state auditors, who “know this program better than anybody. If they are given proper support and resources, you can prevent a lot of these program-integrity problems.”

Click to obtain copies of the testimony and to watch the hearing.