Federal Audit Found Illinois Spent Almost $5 Million on Medicaid for Dead People
The State of Illinois is well known for its corruption, waste, fraud and abuse and now it is to the tune of $5 million in taxpayer dollars spent on dead people! That is correct, you heard that right: Dead People! Someone should be locked up for this, most likely a few ‘someones’.
Illinois spent a whopping $4.6 million covering deceased Medicaid managed care beneficiaries from October 2015 through September 2017. The fraud was discovered during an audit by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.
The audit was administered after individual reviews from six other states found insurers received payments after beneficiaries’ deaths. Those states including California, Ohio and Florida. So this is very likely the tip of the iceberg.
Illinois also spent $2.2 million on pension benefits for 1,000 dead people from 2010 to 2014. Illinois has a $3.2 billion structural deficit, yet it has continued to squander millions in scarce health care dollars.
Chicago Business explains:
It’s recommended that Illinois repay $3.2 million to the federal government, which is the federal share of the total $4.6 million in payments. In addition, OIG suggests the state ensure death dates are added to the integrated information system used for Medicaid claims.
Illinois has accepted the recommendations, according to the report.
The audit covered 11,358 monthly capitation payments—which are a kind of payment arrangement for health care service providers—totaling $5.9 million, made between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2017. Using a random sample of 100 capitation payments, OIG confirmed Illinois did not recover 84 payments made on behalf of 80 deceased beneficiaries.
“With an experienced new management team, we are aggressively resolving problems such as those raised by this audit, which took place more than a year before this administration began.
As the audit states, the department agrees with the recommended solutions and is implementing a range of initiatives that have begun to recoup this money and prevent similar future errors,” John Hoffman, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services, said in a statement.
Now do you want the bad news? This is not the first time! Check out this report from 2014:
A Freedom of Information Act request from the Associated Press uncovered a shocking memo from the Illinois state auditor. The AP found that the Land of Lincoln spent millions of dollars on medical services for the dead.
The Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records, according to an internal state government memo.
The memo dated Friday, which The Associated Press obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, says the state auditor compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database last June with state death records dating back to 1970. Auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths.
And this report from 2011:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services doled out $23 million in benefits to 17,403 deceased beneficiaries in 2011, a new inspector general’s audit. The audit was done by cross-referencing Medicare recipients with Social Security death records from 2009 to 2011.
The big picture?
The threat of these federal audits has existed for several years, but the audits haven’t led to large clawbacks yet. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services now has an estimate of those improper payments to insurers: almost $14.4 billion in 2017, or 7% of Medicare Advantage spending from that year.
Ronald Reagan stated so wisely:
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
The founding fathers created the 10th Amendment for a reason. To keep government under control. They understood that the larger government became, the messier things got.
Waste, fraud and abuse. Corruption. Quid pro quo. The lager government gets, these problems exponentially grow. This is a LOT of money! That is money that should have been going to people truly in need. This is money that people worked hard for to provide through their taxes!
At the same time the state was making Medicaid payments for dead people, many other Illinoisans have died waiting in line for care. 823 Illinoisans have died while on Medicaid’s waiting list since 2013, ObamaCare. Obama’s health care plan relaxed means testing requirements for able-bodied adults aged 19 to 64. What happened to taking care of the needy? Illinois is wasting it, giving it to dead people, and giving it to able-bodied people.
“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” – Milton Friedman