Food stamp scams and efficiency among Medicaid spending were among topics at the 4th meeting of the Governor’s Commission on Waste, Fraud and Abuse on Tuesday. Panel members used a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as the basis for many of their questions. The article documented government-issued debit cards being routinely lost, as a way of potentially bilking the FoodShare program.
Department of Health Services officials clarified the recipient does not receive more spending dollars on their FoodShare card if it’s lost. The account balance remains the same. They add, in some cases, legitimate reasons for lost cards.
Panel members asked about better security measures such as photo ID’s or thumbprint technology. DHS officials cited the challenge of retailers being properly equipped to handle such verification.
The state’s Medicaid Director Brett Davis defended his colleagues in the new administration. “While the enrollment was growing exponentially, the budgets for frauds were declining,” he said, referring to the past several years.
In addition to fraud prevention, Davis said the agency has been partnering with county workers and law enforcement to prosecute FoodShare scammers.
The DHS’ ability to track money given to Medicaid providers was touted as one of the best in the country. Alan White, Director of the Bureau of Program Integrity, said Wisconsin holds a payment error rate of about 2.3-percent, lower than the national average. White credits their high tech screening devices that red flag potential problems and their aggressive auditing practices.
The seven-person Fraud Commission is made up persons from the private and public sector, included elected officials.