Illinois Medicaid spends $13 billion out of a $52 billion Illinois state budget, representing approximately 25% of all state spending. Forensic Auditing the fraud out of Medicaid from hospitals, doctors and the poor is needed policy. Now, if it is good enough for Medicaid, a forensic audit is good for the rest of the budget as well!
Bellock, Dillard: Medicaid bills most important, money-saving bills of the session
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRINGFIELD – The state could save billions of dollars annually if legislation sponsored by State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) and Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Westmont) to examine the state’s Medicaid program, is signed into law.
House Bill 5242 authorizes the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) to contract with a third party to conduct a Payment Recapture Audit of the state’s Medicaid program. The goal is to identify inefficiencies in the program, and spot payments made in error or as a result of fraud or abuse. A similar audit was initiated by President Obama at the federal level.
“This legislation may be the most substantial budget-saving measure of the entire session,” said Dillard. “TheNew York Times has conducted studies which show that Medicaid spending may be as much as 10 percent fraud—in Illinois that’s $1.3 billion in savings annually.”
Bellock, the House of Representatives’ leading expert on Medicaid issues, said that the legislation is indeed the most important legislation of the session.
“This legislation will definitely cut out abuse and waste in the Medicaid system,” Bellock said. “This is a great opportunity for real reform in the Medicaid system and I’m pleased it received so much bipartisan support.”
House Bill 5241 authorizes DHFS to implement a public Web site program that would place Medicaid expenditures online, as a way to increase accountability and improve transparency related to the Medicaid program.
Kristina Rasmussen, Executive Vice President at the Illinois Policy Institute, testified that the measure would offer government administrators better information on how Medicaid resources are utilized, in order to improve health outcomes. Taxpayers would also be offered greater insight into how their resources are allocated by state government.
“We want to make sure that those who need health care assistance are getting it, but we shouldn’t sit back and allow people to ‘game’ the system for billions of dollars,” said Dillard. “Medicaid is the state’s biggest expenditure. Freeing up misappropriated Medicaid dollars, frees up money for education and other vital services.”
The Taxpayer Action Board, established by Gov. Pat Quinn to identify ways to increase taxpayer savings by spurring government efficiency, has indicated that the development of an Internet-based transparency program, like the one advanced by House Bill 5241, could be eligible for matching funds at a rate as high as 90 percent.
“Transparency of spending and forensic auditing fraud within Illinois Medicaid is needed policy that defends those people most in need of efficient services,” said Adam Andrzejewski, Founder For The Good Of Illinois 501(c)4. “This is a fundamental first step to restoring citizen trust in Illinois state government.
“Sen. Kirk Dillard and Rep. Patty Bellock are to be commended on their good government leadership!”
Both Dillard and Bellock also sponsored Senate bill 3815 with Sen. Michael Bond (D-Grayslake), which will create a task force to assess the pervasiveness of public assistance fraud in Illinois, in order to determine whether the state should enforce more stringent penalties for those convicted of fraud.
Having been approved by the Illinois General Assembly, the measure advances to Gov. Quinn for consideration.