Illi­nois fights HHS over au­dit re­port­ing that state owes $140 mil­lion

State fights HHS’ ef­forts to col­lect $140 mil­lion

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - Joe Carl­son

Illi­nois state of­fi­cials, who are al­ready grap­pling with one of the na­tion’s most se­vere fis­cal crises, plan to con­tinue fight­ing the fed­eral government’s ef­forts to squeeze the state Med­i­caid pro­gram for $140 mil­lion.

The eye-pop­ping fig­ure was first re­vealed in an HHS au­dit in 2004, when au­di­tors re­ported that the state had al­lowed a Chicago hospi­tal to col­lect a quar­ter of a bil­lion dol­lars too much in dis­pro­por­tion­ate-share Med­i­caid rev­enue dur­ing the last few years of the 1990s.

It was the largest over­pay­ment au­di­tors un­cov­ered among nearly 150 sim­i­lar re­views by HHS’ in­spec­tor gen­eral’s of­fice dur­ing the 2000s. And it re­mains un­paid to­day, de­spite a fed­eral law that re­quires the CMS to take swift ac­tion to col­lect the debt.

Last week, HHS au­di­tors prod­ded CMS of­fi­cials again to ei­ther col­lect the $140 mil­lion from Illi­nois or sub­mit pa­per­work ex­plain­ing why they think the au­dit was flawed. The Feb. 20 au­dit said the CMS had not been “ag­gres­sive” enough in col­lect­ing Med­i­caid debts in 10 of the 147 au­dits it re­viewed from the past decade, leav­ing $226 mil­lion in un­re­couped rev­enue.

“Illi­nois strongly dis­agrees with the con­tention that money should be re­funded to the fed­eral government and will con­tinue to vig­or­ously con­test this mat­ter,” Med­i­caid spokes­woman Kelly Jakubek said in an e-mail.

HHS wrote in its 2004 au­dit that the hospi­tal—then known as the Univer­sity of Illi­nois at Chicago Hospi­tal—had over­re­ported the cost of free and dis­counted care pro­vided to unin­sured and Med­i­caid pa­tients be­tween 1997 and 2000. Those fig­ures were used to give ex­tra

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.