Audit slams state for $160 million in improper payments for in-home care
Two state departments are under fire for mismanaging a program that provides in-home care for Medicaid patients.
A new audit shows the program has misspent at least $160 million since 2010.
The Michigan auditor general's report says the state also failed to make sure money was actually used to deliver services and that caregivers were qualified.
The Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) and the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) say the program provides critical services to some of the state's most vulnerable residents.
"We want to continue that, and we want to make sure we're doing it in such a way that we're protecting them from abuse, from any financial exploitation," said Angela Minicuci, a spokesperson for DCH. "So we are looking at all of those things. And this audit really did call into question some policies and procedures that needed to be looked at."
Minicuci says the state is taking steps to fix the problems.
"We have begun already recouping payments," she said. "So we go through the paperwork, we find out where an error occurred, and we work with that provider to get that funding back."
But the departments dispute how much money is involved. They say the amount improperly spent by the program is nowhere near the $160 million mentioned in the audit.
The state attorney general's office has already charged 17 people with fraud in connection with the Medicaid home help program.