January 13,2004

Grassley on Medicaid Payments for Services to the Deceased


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Medicaid payments for services to deceased recipients
Da: Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2004

Two reports from the Health and Human Services Inspector General review the amount ofMedicaid overpayments for medical services provided after the recipients’ death in Arizona andMichigan. The report on Arizona concludes the state had procedures in place to ensure thatpayments for services provided after the death of a recipient were recovered. However, the reporton Michigan estimates that unallowable payments of approximately $294,500 (federal share$161,000) were not recovered. In addition, the state agency did not credit the federal governmentfor payments it had identified as unallowable. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee onFinance, made the following comment on these reports.

“While Arizona did a good job, Michigan wasted $161,000 of federal tax dollars. Every state should do what needs to be done to recover every Medicaid dollar that goes to a dead person. On the federal level, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has to make sure states do a good job of recovering these dollars. I’ll continue to follow CMS’ efforts to help the states avoidimproper payments through Medicaid. Every dollar that goes to waste or fraud doesn’t help a personin need.”