In a news release, PA Auditor General Jack Wagner estimates that - using the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare's (DPW) estimated error rate - improper Medicaid payments cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $320 million per year. But Wagner's audit found an error rate of more than triple what DPW claims. In other words, eliminating Medicaid waste could save taxpayers a nice round figure of $1 billion dollars. (HT Tony Phyrillas)
Auditors found errors in 1,951, or 14.7 percent, of 13,225 Medicaid cases selected randomly from 567,984 Medicaid cases from 90 county assistance offices in 64 counties. DPW has asserted that the error rate is only 4%, but eliminating just 4% of those errors would save Pennsylvania taxpayers $320 million per year, Wagner said.
The failure of DPW to crack down on Medicaid fraud earned former secretary Estelle Richman an appointment with the Obama administration, despite the fact that she has seemingly paid her taxes on time.
Meanwhile, I predict that in his final budget address, one week from today, Governor Rendell will insist that there is nothing left to cut in the state budget.