Minnesota tries to fend off criticism on Medicaid

  • Article by: KEVIN DIAZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 29, 2012 - 9:25 PM

A top official tells a GOP-led panel that a questioned UCare payment was not due to overcharges.

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dflleftMay. 29, 12 9:55 PM

THE SAD FACT IS THAT Lucinda Jesson can't be trusted to provide straight answers, Michelle Bachman and the star-trib editorial is right on, federal audits are needed...and now.

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SammyBoyMay. 29, 1210:33 PM

Without knowing the facts of extremely complex laws and regulation, everyone wants to boil this down to nothing more than a problem with the people currently running the show. Never mind this could have been occurring for a decade, it's Dayton's fault. Furthermore, the cries for constant audits coming from the right are laughable. Just like the drug-testing for benefit recipients in Florida (and only the poor and not others like Medicare and SSA recipients or CEOs taking property tax credits to locate a dozen jobs in a swamp), pouring money down the drain of "accountability" to recoup 10% of the enforcement costs is mind-bogglingly reckless. Florida prevented benefit payments to 108 recipients due to drug testing, and an additional 40 withdrew applications. Testing all applicants cost the state $118K, while preventing $72K in payments. In simple terms, the state spent $1.63 to prevent $1 in payments. And it didn't even reduce caseload (also known as the shaft). Why is it okay to expect the government to spend hundreds of dollars to find the pennies in wasted money, but it's ruinous to our great nation to expect corporations to do the opposite? If we expect the government to waste money on dubious tricks like expensive audits and drug-testing, why shouldn't we also expect corporations to do the same?

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capsule2May. 29, 1211:22 PM

"In a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson defended reforms implemented under DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, saying "our focus has been on changing course rather than investigating the past." - Same rhetoric the republicans have been using. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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furguson11May. 30, 12 6:42 AM

"UCare's losses under GAMC had been offset by Medicaid" This was bad, but it is an example of a basic problem with medical billing. Providers can bill multiple parties at different rates with the Govt as a backstop. There is no real downward pressure on rates.

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drmyeyesMay. 30, 12 8:02 AM

The entire program is a slush fund set up to be stolen from by anyone including our own government. And yet, liberals think that government can administer our health care system and do it efficiently. How can you people put so much faith in government?

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susan hensonMay. 30, 12 8:12 AM

1. no way profits dropped as reported for 2011, they were just hidden in inflated admin and medical loss. 2. there was no "competetive bid", it was fixed from the start 3. the providers in the state are being CRUSHED, but they don't have the $ to lobby like HMOs. 4. the federal dollars wasted are OUR DOLLARS and we need retrospective audits by OUTSIDE, INDEPENDENT auditors 5. comparing this to drug testing beneficiaries is rediculous LAST..the problem with our nation is that we endorse folks in the "system" having babies that will be dependent on the "system"...

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dewarfMay. 30, 12 8:31 AM

And remember, under Obamacare, we have millions of new people being added to Medicare/Medicaid but it won't cost taxpayers a dime. Trust me! Just another something-for-nothing entitlement program in exchange for votes. When will we ever learn?

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prometheus1May. 30, 12 9:24 AM

Jesson's statements make no sense. If the decision to keep the UCare "donation" was legal and correct, then why is the state returning the money? Clearly the federal government does NOT share Jesson's view on the issue...which tells the tale. Jesson and, apparently her boss Mark Dayton, are appear to be incapable of admitting mistake. One sees this across the board of incompetent DHS decisions under Jesson. Being able to admit mistakes is a prerequisite for correction and it's clear Jesson can't do this. The federal government should impose audits on Minnesota immediately and retroactively back into the Pawlenty administration. Until such time as that is completed to the federal government's satisfaction all Medicaid payments to the state of Minnesota should be reduced by 50%...as a downpayment on repayment of misappropriated funds and as an incentive to cooperation. Dayton needs to take some responsibility here and publicly order Jesson to stop her stonewalling or tender her resignation.

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susan hensonMay. 30, 12 9:57 AM

The Feds, under Obama's leadership, just gave away over $1 billion in grants to create health insurance exchanges that will never work...they could care less about fraud. FYI, Medicaid is NOT health insurance. It is 1/3 "health isurance", 1/3 income subsidization for the elderly, and 1/3 social programs with NO basis in medical necessity/sufficiency...NOTHING like our "insurance". Medicare is health isurance, we have a National platform. Why not give the poor Medicare?

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bjmaccMay. 30, 1210:49 AM

Minnesota is doing a great job in covering its citizens. The rest of the country should be so lucky. thank you mark dayton and ms. jesson for your effective leadership, hard work and determination to help any Minnesotan that needs it.

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