In Federal Financial Management Hearing, Sen. Carper Praises Administration’s Commitment to Reducing Waste and Fraud in Medicaid

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, praised the Obama Administration’s commitment to reducing waste, fraud and abuse in Medicaid. In a hearing before Sen. Carper’s Subcommittee today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Director Dr. Peter Budetti reaffirmed his agency’s ongoing efforts to improve its Medicaid improper payments recovery programs.

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report identified one program that relies on Medicaid Integrity Contractors only identified about $19.9 million in overpayments since 2008, yet CMS spent $102 million to operate the program during the same period. In light of these results, Dr. Budetti stated that CMS will terminate several of those contractors and will quickly work toward establishing a successful anti-waste and fraud system based on close collaboration between federal and state agencies.

“Now more than ever, it’s important that we step up our efforts to eliminate the vulnerabilities that lead to waste and fraud and to improve effectiveness and efficiency across government,” said Sen. Carper. “Success in doing so will help us as we work to curb our federal debt and, in the case of Medicaid, it will help states as they grapple with their own budget problems. Ultimately all of us — Congress, the Administration, and the states — want to improve program integrity at Medicaid to ensure that the program has the resources necessary to provide critical services to those in need. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state governments have made notable progress reducing the level of improper payments in Medicaid in just one year. I am encouraged that Dr. Peter Budetti today reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to reducing waste, fraud and abuse throughout his agency and the programs that are so vital to millions of Americans. I will work with CMS as it continues to partner closely with the states to take advantage of every opportunity to prevent, identify, and recover improper payments. By continuing its efforts to improve the management of Medicaid, CMS will strengthen one of our nation’s critical safety net programs and better preserve our scarce resources to help states provide quality healthcare to some of our most vulnerable citizens.”