WASHINGTON —Today, U.S Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure renewing their request for information on what safeguards CMS has in place to address improper payments in the Medicaid program.
“We write to continue our investigation into the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the staggering rate of improper payments in the Medicaid program. As we noted in our April 13, 2022 letter, the reported improper payments rate of 15.62 percent is likely an underestimate. Some estimates show that 27 percent, or more than $100 billion annually, could be improper. This alarming amount threatens the viability of a program designed for Americans in need. We write seeking additional information on what safeguards CMS has in place to address improper payments in the Medicaid program,” the lawmakers wrote.
A year ago, Senator Johnson and then-Ranking Member Comer led a bicameral investigation seeking information on the high volume of improper Medicaid payments, yet the improper payment rate continues to increase.
“As we explained in our April 13, 2022 letter, we are concerned with reports that as much as 95 percent of improper payments were a direct result of eligibility errors. These eligibility errors are exacerbated by inconsistent data collection and retention policies. Some states, like California, abuse the inconsistency, enabling artificially low error rates even though the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General (IG) found that more half of the enrollees in their Medicaid program were ineligible,” the lawmakers continued.
The full text of the letter can be found here.