$122.2 Million in Medicaid Savings Overlooked

State Auditor’s Medicaid Recommendations Continue to be Shunned

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Columbus -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today said ideas to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Ohio’s Medicaid program and save hundreds of millions of dollars in the process continues to be overlooked by state policy makers at a time when Ohio’s budget is in distress.

Members of the Ohio House disregarded a proposal to implement several recommendations from the Auditor of State’s Medicaid Performance audit with potential savings to Ohio taxpayers of $122.2 million annually.

“I have been asked, ‘What would you cut?’ to solve the state’s budget crisis,” Taylor said. “Since I took office, I have discussed practical solutions and proven practices from the Medicaid Performance audit that could result in hundreds of millions in program savings. Unfortunately my solutions to save tax dollars and make Medicaid more efficient and effective continue to be ignored.”

The proposal, offered as an amendment to the state budget by Representative Barbara Sears (R-Sylvania), includes eight Medicaid performance audit recommendations. Three of those recommendations would result in annual savings of $122.2 million. They are:

  • Full implementation of a statewide E-prescribing program – $62.2 million
  • Implementation of a disease management program for certain Medicaid recipients – $54 million
  • Coordination of benefits for Medicaid recipients who also belong to a private health insurance plan – $6 million

The five remaining recommendations from the Auditor of State’s performance audit would result in improvements to management efficiencies if implemented.

As a state legislator in 2005, Taylor introduced a measure that was included in the state’s biennial budget bill directing the Auditor of State to conduct a performance audit of Medicaid.

The initial performance audit, released in December 2006, provided the incoming administration with 109 recommendations to improve Ohio’s Medicaid program and cut costs without slashing critical services. The original recommendations, if fully implemented, had the potential to save taxpayers more than $400 million annually.

A subsequent Medicaid status report update, released by Taylor in December 2008, identified 54 recommendations – totaling more than $302.8 million – that have not been implemented.