Four states approved $580 million of potentially phony Medicaid payments in 2011, and the officials responsible don’t seem to be in a hurry to fix the problems that allowed the government waste to happen in the first place.
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Prison inmates, dead people and doctors previously thrown out of the program were among the thousands of recipients who jumped aboard the federal spending gravy train.
New Jersey, Arizona, Michigan, Florida, and likely more states allowed the fraudulent Medicaid payments because they didn’t check databases to ensure that beneficiaries and providers were eligible, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
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“The bottom line … is to narrow the windows of opportunity for improper payments,” GAO Audit Services Director Seto Bagdoyan, the report’s author, said Friday.
Preventing “fraudulent health-care providers from entering” Medicaid is the “most important element in an effective fraud-prevention program,” he said.
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