There’s overpayments, and then there’s overpayments

Sam Baker has a piece on The Hill Yesterday, “GOP slams $15 billion in Medicaid overpayments“:

Medicaid has shelled out billions in overpayments to certain healthcare facilities in New York, according to a report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The committee, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said Medicaid has overpaid state-run facilities for people with developmental disabilities by $15 billion over the past 20 years.

Well, first of all, no one likes this. It shouldn’t be a political issue. I think it’s ironic, therefore, that the GOP is on the attack. Unless my history is wrong, a number of those past 20 years were under GOP administrations. This wasn’t picked up until the HHS inspector general under a Democratic administration noticed it.

We need better oversight of stuff like this. Fraud is possible, as is waste. But there’s waste and then there’s waste:

The committee’s findings stem from a report by the Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general, which uncovered the excess payments in May. The inspector general said Medicaid is paying the New York facilities “the equivalent of” $1.9 million per patient per year, according to the GOP report.

$1.9 million per patient per year? And they just noticed this? Not only that, but HHS uncovered it in May, and the GOP is now reacting to it in September?

Why does anyone think they look good here. We need to do better.

@aaronecarroll

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