Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Diamond Jim Doyle's Legacy: Expensive Medicaid

We're all acquainted with Diamond Jim Doyle's mal-governance.  And there's plenty of it, as outlined in a report on Doyle's Medicaid program.

...The audit raises questions about whether, given the growth in the health programs, the state Department of Health Services is able to oversee both its contractors and the overall Medicaid programs. It also found that the state could do more to shift to lower-cost models such as health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, that charge a capped rate for patients.

As a matter of interest, Walker's budget increased Medicaid spending by $1.3BILLION in an attempt to get ahead of Doyle's lack-of-controls problems.

...The audit found that Wisconsin was toward the upper end of eligibility limits for the program compared with its five neighboring states and over the most recent four-year period had seen the second-largest increases in enrollment and spending, behind only Illinois.

When I said "lack of controls," I meant it.

In recent years, the state frequently has chosen to add more services from vendors by expanding its existing pacts with contractors such as Hewlett-Packard and Deloitte Consulting rather than putting those new services out to bid to see if other vendors might do them more cheaply, auditors found.

When you look in the dictionary under "EXPENSIVE", you'll find H-P and Deloitte, folks.

Did I mention "lack of controls"?

As the Medicaid program has grown, the state [actually, the Doyle Administration] has cut the money available for investigating fraud. The number of investigations of potential fraud by recipients dropped to 1,424 in fiscal 2011 from 2,166 in fiscal 2007 along with the amount of money recovered through such investigations, the audit found.

Predictably, the (D) finds that not looking for fraud results in not finding it!

Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) said the audit didn't find widespread fraud in Medicaid...

Thanks again, Jimbo!

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