The State Auditor’s office released the annual One-Time Audit of Federal Funds for Mississippi Agencies and found possible Medicaid fraud on the part of some recipients.
Auditor Shad White released the single audit of federal funds being used by Mississippi agencies. This audit will often show the results of previous individual audits, but can also provide additional details about the expense.
The auditors’ office specifically compared the income that Medicaid recipients reported to the Medicaid Division with the income they reported on their state income tax returns.
“Using these returns to determine whether people lie for profit started last year in my office,” said Auditor White. “We now have enough data to show that there are millions of dollars in potential savings if we can prevent ineligible people from getting Medicaid. The benefits should only go to those who deserve to be in the program. “
During the audit, the office discovered that some of those beneficiaries lie to obtain additional benefits.
The audit looked at 180 different Medicaid beneficiaries and found that roughly 5 percent might be ineligible due to their reported high income levels.
In particular, two people who own multi-million dollar homes and reported high income on their 2020 tac returns also proved to be receiving Medicaid benefits. This point stands out in the audit.
White’s office reported that Medicaid had already identified the individuals as possible fraud cases to investigate. However, Medicaid does not have any legal authority to collect state income taxes when a person applies for the program.
“Under current law, Medicaid cannot do the analysis that we did here,” White said. “I am ready to work with the leadership of Medicaid to argue to legislators that they should have this tool in their toolbox. First, it could prevent ineligible applicants from being included in the program. We know this tool would be helpful because Medicaid’s internal policies state that they must ask an applicant for their refund, but without the authority to obtain the refund and the requirement to use it, the state is potentially handing out millions to
Ineligible Persons “.
Medicaid represents 49% of federal funds spent by the state of Mississippi.
“I want to thank the team of auditors who worked on the Single Audit this year,” added White. “With each find, they are risking their licenses. They are doing it to improve our state and out of loyalty to taxpayers.”