The Illinois media recently reported that Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services paid $12 million in Medicaid benefits for deceased Illinois Medicaid recipients. These improper
payments of taxpayer dollars are an example of why Illinois is cash strapped. More disturbing is my investigation of the past year that has discovered that HFS has routinely failed to protect
Illinois taxpayers from fraud.
In 1999, the Healthcare and Family Services Office of the Inspector General knew they had a problem. The OIG staff reviewed a limited set of data containing three months of claims. They
discovered that 963 deaths were reported during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1997 and $1,119,269 in inappropriate payments were made to 94 providers on behalf of 145 deceased
clients. What did HFS do? NOTHING. Not one corrective, preventive measure was taken by HFS.
My investigators learned that this issue would resurface year after year in HFS meetings. The problem is not unique to Illinois, but it is obvious that Illinois’ Department of Healthcare and
Family Services is not tough on waste or fraud. In the past two years alone, most of the fraud cases have been settled via loose corporate integrity agreements that have not permitted the
state to recover funds rightfully due the state.