Clay’s Weekly Medicaid RoundUp: Week of April 4th, 2016


OH MY DEAR TARHEEL STATE, WHY CAN’T YOU GET IT TOGETHER? I love NC. Heck I lived there for 2 years. But its time for an intervention. News of $835M in misspent 2015 Mcd funds came out this week. Agency officials acknowledge the problem of improper payments, but challenge the number (but don’t provide an alternative number). Beth Wood (the state auditor) is sticking by her $835M number, which is based on a sample of 396 claims. For those of you with an NC connection (which is a lot of us in the Mcd world), you know this is just the latest bump in the road.

MO PUTS FOOT DOWN ON MCD BUDGET; IN OTHER NEWS HELL HATH FROZEN OVER- The Mcd agency was asking for an increase that would have consumed all new state revenues for the fiscal year. Instead, the Senate came back with a $55M cut for Mcd in the Show Me State. News of this unprecedented event (an actual cut to a Mcd budget, not a “we would have spent even more, so give us 10% more than last year and call it a cut”, cut) was immediately followed by swarms of locusts, great cracks in the ground swallowing cars and the Mississippi River turning to blood.

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT: IOWA MCO TRANSITION GOING JUST FINE- The move to managed care can be painful. You’re taking what has been run by the government for decades, spawning hundreds of mini, protected, subsidized fiefdoms – and converting it into something that has to be run efficiently enough to turn a profit. There’s some growing pains. Iowa became the 39th state to make the switch to managed care this week, but only after months of “the sky is falling” and ripping of sackloth from the legacy stakeholders. As long as the Good Guvn’r Brandstad is right, there wasn’t much to fuss about. The transition is going smoothly. We can all hope for a 6-month honeymoon, at least until the MCOs begin the obligatory “our rates are too low, so this is why the sky is falling now” wailing. See- the sky is always falling in Medicaid. It’s only a question of who’s playing Chicken Little.

MCD EXPANSION = BOON TIMES FOR LOBBYISTS- If KY is any indication, anyway. Looks like health related lobbying has ramped up 30% this year compared with last. I think they measure that based on reported payments to lobbyists, but not exactly sure. Would love to hear what you are seeing in your statehouse if your state is one of the expansion holdouts.

ANYBODY KNOW A GOOD CHARITY FOR VETS? For the last several years I have wanted to do a fundraising campaign for vets to be timed with Memorial Day / 4th of July. Both always sneak up on me … If you have a good one you recommend, please email it in.

FARRIS’S FANTASTIC FRAUD FOLLIES– And now for everybody’s favorite paragraph. Start the ticker and let’s see who wins this week’s award. Elva Santos and Manuel Gomez of TX got pinched for two very similar (but not related) scams this week. Santos pilfered $581K of Mcd dollars with her DME company; Gomez did the same with his, but added a patient data buying scheme to the charges. Gomez’s tab rings up at around $2M.  Christina Benson of Tallahassee plead guilty Mcd fraud- she got $170k by paying homeless men and women to pretend to be Mcd patients and then bill for home care solutions they did not need. Mr. Gomez – you win!


That’s it for this week. As always, please send me a note with your thoughts to or give me a buzz at 919.727.9231. Get outside (its almost time to plant!) and keep running the race (you know who you are).


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News that didn’t make it and sources for those that did: twitter @mostlymedicaid

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