* A new Government Accountability Office audit out of DC has found some serious abuses of the Medicaid prescription program.
The GAO looked at five states, including Illinois. Those states alone made up 40 percent of Medicaid’s prescription-drug payments in fiscal years 2006 and 2007, according to a story in USA Today…
[The five states] are not fully taking advantage of federal databases or technology that could spot fraud, the report said.
Not good at all.
Here’s what the GAO found…
• About 65,000 cases in which Medicaid beneficiaries visited six or more doctors and up to 46 pharmacies to acquire prescriptions — a practice known as “doctor shopping” that allows purchasers to exceed the legal limit of drugs.
• Sixty-five doctors or pharmacists writing or filling prescriptions after being banned from Medicaid, some for illegally selling such drugs.
• About 1,800 prescriptions written for dead patients and 1,200 prescriptions “written” by dead physicians.
Dead voters, dead patients and dead doctors. A perfect fit for Illinois [/snark].
In the big picture, we’re not talking about a gigantic dollar amount here. It’s less than $33 million per year for two years - and that’s all five states combined. If Illinois shares equally, that’s less than $7 million, or about $3.5 million in state dollars at a 50-50 match.
With the state’s ongoing budget problems, this could become an issue, however. The full GAO report is here.
* More budget stuff…
* Play Whac-a-Mole to plug budget gap: The governor tried to appease everyone without solving anything.
* AARP Wants Ill. Governor To Halt Budget Cuts
* New Coalition Calls For Moral, Ethical Budget
* Illinois leaders, it’s time to step up
* Quinn vows to restore low-income student funding
* 2 options for funding our best & brightest
* Quinn pushes cig tax for short-term MAP grant fix
* Watchdog group: State layoffs, tax increase likely
* Illinois doctors press for tax on sugary beverages