Medicaid performance audit recommendations championed by State Auditor Mary Taylor were included in the $52 billion state budget passed by the Ohio Senate yesterday. The recommendations have the potential to save millions of taxpayer dollars by increasing efficiency and accountability in the program.
In 2005, as a legislator, Taylor introduced a bill in the Ohio House of Representatives granting the State Auditor the authority to conduct a one-time performance audit of Ohio’s Medicaid program. Released in December 2006, the performance audit of the state’s Medicaid program identified more than $400 million annually in potential savings and made more than 100 recommendations for improvements.
“The Senate should be commended for including measures in the budget bill to improve efficiency in the state’s $13 billion Medicaid program,” Taylor said. “The specific recommendations passed by the Senate will help save taxpayer dollars.”
Some of the Medicaid performance audit recommendations adopted in the Senate version of the state budget bill include:
- Joining a free national program called the Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS) will allow Ohio to share public assistance information across state lines. Participation could detect and prevent fraud and result in a savings of $7.3 million a year.
- Monitoring the effect of Medicare Part D will allow the state to make informed decisions on how to maximize drug rebates and possibly join a purchasing pool for prescription drugs. Joining purchasing pools and increasing the use of generic drugs has a potential cost savings of $59 million a year.
- Requiring county Departments of Job and Family Services to submit and store patient eligibility information electronically will save significant time and reduce the number of errors that occur when staff is required to track the same information manually.
Taylor says the job of overhauling a Medicaid system fraught with inefficiencies must continue. In the coming weeks, she plans to announce a series of roundtable discussions with interested parties throughout the state to address additional recommendations to improve efficiency and accountability in the Medicaid program.
The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation. The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).
For more information about the State Auditor’s Office, please visit: www.auditor.state.oh.us.