A federal audit has revealed that Illinois withdrew more than it was allowed under its federal Medicaid account, the Chicago Tribune reports.
An audit by the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cited Illinois for "faulty" and "imprecise" bookkeeping, revealing the state took out an average of $60 million more than it was entitled to each quarter between 2010 and 2012. (Read complete audit)
Although the federal funds obtained during 2010-2012 were justified by the state’s net Medicaid expenditures, by overdrawing funds most quarters Illinois was unable to immediately repay the overdrafts immediately. Because the state was two to six months late in repaying most funds, the audit said taxpayers could have lost as much as $792,000 in interest payments.
The Medicaid program provides medical assistance to low-income individuals and persons with disabilities. Before each quarter, states estimate their Medicaid expenditures and report the estimates to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Those estimates are used to determine the federal funds available to the state each quarter.
The audit reported that Illinios “consistently withdrew more Medicaid funds than were supported by net expenditures.” For the three years reviewed by the audit, the overdrafts averaged $60 million each quarter and ranged from an underdraw (did not withdraw sufficient funds) of $28.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2010 to an overdraw of $193.7 million in the final quarter of FY2011.
The audit also found Illinois “did not always withdraw funds from the appropriate PMS (Payment Management System) accounts because of a faulty procedure and other misclassifications.