When Reforming Medicaid, Don’t Forget to Tackle Waste, Fraud and Abuse

In the latest edition of the Bacon’s Rebellion e-zine, I profiled Aneesh Chopra, Virginia’s new Secretary of Technology. With the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) functioning as a quasi-independent entities, the SecTech has the lightest administrative responsibilities of anyone in the governor’s cabinet. Chopra is using the freedom from day-to-day drudgery to, among other things, advance Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s goal of streamlining the state’s Medicaid program.

In our interview, Chopra discussed upgrading state Medicaid information systems. By sharing data with Virginia’s major health care systems, he hopes to provide better care for patients, reduce the number of redundant tests and procedures and achieve other efficiencies. Read the details here.

Phil Rodokanakis, president of the Virginia Club for Growth and a Bacon’s Rebellion columnist, suggests that Chopra may be overlooking the biggest cost savings of all: the opportunity to eliminate good, old-fashioned waste, fraud and abuse. Says Phil:

The Medicaid system is fraught with waste, fraud and abuse—both at the federal and state levels. Designing and implementing data mining projects that can readily locate false claims in the system should be like shooting fish in a barrel, for a tech savvy person.

Waste, fraud and abuse is the low-hanging fruit in Medicaid expenditures, Rodokanakis suggests, and that is where Chopra should first focus his attention.

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2 responses to “When Reforming Medicaid, Don’t Forget to Tackle Waste, Fraud and Abuse”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    How about some examples of “waste, fraud and abuse” in the administration of Virginia’s Medicaid program?

    I represented a lady (pro bono) trying to get Medicaid benefits a couple of years ago and, based on my experience, the Virginia program seems to be very tightly run. It is actually one of the least generous in the nation.

    Here I had a client who had a total income of about $940 a month who had a multitude of serious (in my estimation) medical problems who was ineligible. Not only that but DMASS wanted her to pay back over $1,200 in benefits she had mistakenly received. Unfortunately, she died before she could settle her debts to the Commonwealth.

  2. Tom Paine Avatar
    Tom Paine

    Anonymous11:28 why do you ask for examples? There aren’t any. That “waste, fraud and abuse” line is pretty much a fraud in itsself when it comes to this state.

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