December 10,2007

Grassley follows up on IG findings about CMS involvement in offline purchases

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to explain the role played by an agency employee in authorizing inappropriate expenditures made by the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care and what the consequences have been for that CMS employee.

The Iowa Foundation for Medical Care is a contractor retained by the federal government to monitor and improve the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. In a report issued two months ago, the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services said that $55,000 worth of electronics equipment was purchased without proper authorization by the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care for use by CMS officials and contractors at the direction of a CMS official.

“That CMS official needs to be held accountable for unauthorized expenditures, and CMS needs to make sure the problem isn’t bigger than this one case and one employee,” Grassley said.