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Final ODJFS Performance Audit Report Released
Total Savings Surpass $47.5 Million
Columbus – Fighting Medicaid fraud on the front end could save Ohio nearly $30 million, according to the final performance audit report of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Catching bad billings before they are paid means big savings for taxpayers,” Auditor Yost said. “This final report combines new recommendations with our prior interim work, bringing the total potential savings for Ohioans to $47.5 million. I commend Directors Colbert and McCarthy for their cooperation and taking the steps to improve their operations.”
“Our current biennial budget proposal includes a series of measures that will increase Medicaid’s audit and recovery capacities and ensure that millions in taxpayer dollars are accounted for,” said state Medicaid Director John McCarthy. “Having already successfully implemented a number of fraud control recommendations made by the Ohio Attorney General last year, Ohio Medicaid welcomes the assistance of Auditor Yost and his staff. It is my hope that these recommendations will help us to further build on our efforts to curb fraud and abuse.”
Today’s performance audit reports telephone monitoring and verification of home health care services can reduce fraudulent billings and save Ohio at least $19.75 million each year. Telephone monitoring requires home service providers to call from a client’s home phone or use a cell phone enabled with GPS technology to check in at a location and check out when departing. This verification helps prevent and deter double billing or billing for services never provided, and has had success in other states.
The report also recommends that ODJFS require surety bonds for high-risk Medicaid providers, which would increase fraud debt collections by at least $10 million each year. High-risk Medicaid providers include home health care providers, ambulance/ambulette services, and durable medical equipment providers.
“I appreciate Auditor Yost’s recommendations and the time his auditors spent learning about the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and those we serve,” said ODJFS Director Michael Colbert. “Over the last two years, ODJFS has taken numerous steps to reduce administrative costs and streamline operations. Among other things, we’re consolidating field offices, encouraging counties to share services, and providing more services online.”
Included in today’s final report are the recommendations from three prior interim ODFJS performance audit reports. The first interim report recommended that ODJFS use appropriate state job classifications and increase efficiency at the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission to save up to $1 million annually. Recommendations from the second interim report included cutting the number of ODJFS supervisors and consolidating Medicaid provider enrollment functions, which could save the agency nearly $17 million. The third interim report provided ways to improve workforce development operations across the state.
If ODJFS implements all the recommendations, the return on investment for this performance audit is $100 for every dollar spent on the audit.
In early 2011, Auditor Yost worked with the Ohio General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 4, which requires performance audits of four state agencies every two years. The first four agencies to receive a performance audit were the Ohio Departments of Job and Family Services, Education, and Transportation, as well as the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. The performance audits of ODE and ODOT will be released in the coming weeks. The OHFA report was released on September 20, 2012. Auditor Yost is currently working to choose the next four agencies that will receive performance audits in the coming biennium.
A full copy of this performance audit report may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,700 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.