Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Medicaid Cop Survives to Fight Another Day
Utah’s Medicaid Inspector General survived legislative attempts to weaken his policing powers with passage of a bill to extend his appointment by two years.
The bill would move Inspector General Lee Wyckoff an arm’s length from the governor to the Department of Administrative Services. The position would not report to the agency’s director, but would be independent — appointed by the governor with consent from the Senate to a four-year term.
It would also give Wyckoff’s team of auditors access to Utah’s Controlled Substance Database, empowering them to pursue patient fraud, or doctor-shopping.
Doing so would set Utah apart from most other states which, according to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, focus primarily on "pay and chase" efforts to remedy billing errors.
Fraud and abuse in Medicaid waste money and can subject patients to unnecessary or ineffective tests and treatments, the report says. In 2012, an estimated $19 billion — or 7 percent — of federal Medicaid funds was absorbed by improper payments, which include fraud and abuse as well as unintentional mistakes such as paperwork errors.
Read the full article at sltrib.com.
- State Health Care Spending