Minnesota Spent Millions On Health Care For Dead People

TWIN CITIES, MN — The Minnesota Department of Human Services paid millions of dollars to managed care organizations for deceased enrollees in state health care programs between 2014 and 2016, according to a new report.

A federal audit found a total of $3.7 million was wrongly distributed to 198 people who were dead.

“This is just another example of the problems that have taken place within the Department of Human Services,” State Representative Joe Schomacker, a Republican from Luverne who leads the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Finance Division, said in a news release.

“While this issue is now behind us, it highlights the need for us to continue to investigate what is happening within the agency. That’s why House Republicans have been pushing Democrats to address the failures of DHS during this week’s mini session.”

In a statement to the Star Tribune, DHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said,”Ensuring our records are up-to-date so we do not pay for individuals who are no longer receiving care is a continual challenge.”

Harpstead added,”We gather death information from many different sources, which do not always report in a timely manner. Because these payments are made to health plans in advance we will always have to reconcile accounts.”

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