$226 Million in Medicaid over payments remain uncollected

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services has failed to collect over $226 million in Medicaid over payments to 11 states according to a report by the Inspector General’s Office just released. Over payments in Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Jersey, Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Illinois and Indiana were mentioned in the report. In October, the American Hospital Association claimed rules for providers to report and repay Medicare were burdensome. In addition, it was recently learned that doctors and other health providers in three states owed $791 million in back taxes while they collected $6.6 billion in 2009 from Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor, government investigators found. About 7,000 health providers in Florida, Texas and New York owed back taxes while collecting payments from Medicaid, the U.S.-state coverage plan, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said in a report today. Thirty-two of the providers owed more than $1 million and collected more than $1 million in payments, the GAO said, without naming them.The government’s ability to recoup unpaid taxes from Medicaid health providers is more limited than in Medicare, the insurance program for the elderly. Because Medicare is run entirely by the federal government, the IRS can continuously garnish payments to collect back taxes. Because Medicaid is administered by states, its payments aren’t considered federal and are more difficult to garnish, the GAO said. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.