Government

Grassley criticizes lack of Medicaid payment oversight

“To maintain public confidence in such a large commitment of national resources, it is essential to ensure these dollars are spent as Congress intended,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says. (Reuters)
“To maintain public confidence in such a large commitment of national resources, it is essential to ensure these dollars are spent as Congress intended,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says. (Reuters)
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Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and other U.S. senators on Friday criticized federal oversight of Medicaid payments.

Grassley, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, and Finance Subcommittee on Health Care Chairman Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., pushed for more oversight on Medicaid eligibility-related payments in a letter to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Friday.

In the letter, the senators stated nearly 10 percent of Medicaid payments have been made improperly.

According to a news release from Grassley’s office, the entire National Institutes of Health budget is smaller than the amount of erroneous payments made by Medicaid.

“To maintain public confidence in such a large commitment of national resources, it is essential to ensure these dollars are spent as Congress intended — namely, to provide specified health and long-term care services for low-income Americans, with a historical focus on the aged, disabled, children and families,” the senators wrote in a letter addressed to CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Unfortunately governmental efforts to ensure Medicaid payments are spent prudently have fallen short.”

Federal law requires recoup of any improper Medicaid eligibility-related payments made by states in excess of 3 percent.

CMS “has apparently made no efforts since 1992 to recover any of these payments,” the release said.

Grassley and Toomey have requested CMS data on recoveries and eligibility error rates, as well as any “further statutory authorities that could help enforcement and recovery efforts.”

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The full letter can be seen at https://bit.ly/2HlLlMR.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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