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Taylor’s Medicaid Reform Suggestions Included in Senate Budget Redraft
Recommendations could save more than $100 million annually when implemented
Auditor of State Mary Taylor today said the inclusion of several Medicaid reform recommendations in the Ohio Senate’s version of the biennium budget, based on the work of her performance auditing staff, could result in more than $100 million in annual savings while improving the overall effectiveness of the program.
Since taking office, Taylor has advocated for adoption of the Medicaid performance audit recommendations to cut costs and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Medicaid program – the largest single component of the state’s biennial operating budget.
In fact, Taylor commissioned a follow-up report for the 2006 Medicaid performance audit, released in December 2008, which indicated almost half of the recommendations to reduce costs and improve the Medicaid program have not been implemented.
“I will continue to advocate for reform recommendations that will make Ohio’s Medicaid program more efficient and effective,” Taylor said. “These suggestions in the Senate substitute bill will create program improvement opportunities and provide significant cost savings at a time when we need it the most. I am pleased to work with the Ohio Senate and contribute practical solutions as we move forward in the state budget process.”
The Senate’s version of the state’s biennium budget includes eight recommendations from a comprehensive performance audit of the Medicaid program released by the Auditor of State’s office in December 2006. Three of the recommendations result in annual savings of more than $100 million. They are:
• Full implementation of a statewide E-prescribing program – $62.2 million
• Implementation of a disease management program for certain Medicaid recipients – $54 million
• Coordination of benefits for Medicaid recipients who also belong to a private health insurance plan – $6 million
The five remaining recommendations included in the Senate budget from the Auditor of State’s performance audit would result in improvements to management efficiencies as well as patient care.
As a state legislator in 2005, Taylor introduced a measure that was included in the state’s biennial budget bill directing the Auditor of State to conduct a performance audit of Medicaid.
The initial performance audit, released in December 2006, provided the incoming administration with 109 recommendations to improve Ohio’s Medicaid program and cut costs without harming critical services. The original recommendations, if fully implemented, had the potential to save taxpayers more than $400 million annually.
A subsequent Medicaid status report update, released by Taylor in December 2008, identified 54 recommendations – totaling more than $302.8 million in annual savings – that have not been implemented.
The Ohio Auditor of State’s office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation. The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364). Since taking office, Taylor has identified more than $20.4 million in public funds that were handled improperly, spent illegally or stolen and must be repaid.