Missing Medicaid Dollars Identified in Warren County Audit

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Columbus -

More than $75,000 in unaccounted for Medicaid spend-down payments were identified in the audit of Warren County released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

“Honest government begins with accounting for each public dollar, and the citizens of Warren County deserve nothing less,” Auditor Yost said. “We’re sending these findings to the prosecutor.”

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides certain individuals who do not meet income eligibility guidelines an opportunity to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Through a spend-down system, individuals pay for their medical bills until they reach Medicaid eligibility. Once an individual’s spend-down liability is paid, a Medicaid card is issued to fund additional medical services during that month.

In December 2010, it was discovered that spend-down receipts received by the Warren County Department of Job and Family Services (WCJFS) were not posted to all case files in the ODJFS computer system, and client medical cards were inaccurately released. Most of these transactions were handled by employee Becky Butcher. This prompted a review of transaction logs from March 2009 through December 2010, and the review determined that $75,661 was collected but unaccounted for. Findings for recovery were issued against several WCJFS employees, with $73,189 issued against Butcher.

WCJFS receives half of its funding from state funds and half from federal funds. The spend-down money collected for each quarter should be deducted from the funding it receives, so ODJFS may recoup the spend-down payments. Because the spend-down money was not paid to the county auditor, it was not deducted from the county’s funding by ODJFS. Therefore, the county was over-reimbursed. As a result, federal questioned costs in the amount of $37,732 were issued.

The findings in this audit have been turned over to the Warren County Prosecutor.

A full copy of this audit may be found online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.