I have stated in the past that, from my conversations with citizens across the state, one thing is clear: Oregonians want increased accountability for how their tax dollars are spent. That’s why, on May 17, 2017, my office released our first Audit Alert, notifying the Oregon Health Authority of immediate concerns uncovered during our ongoing audit.
The Audit Alert flagged millions of dollars of improper payments made for ineligible recipients. During the months that followed, OHA removed more than 54,000 ineligible recipients from their system.
It has now come to light, thanks to recent reporting by The Oregonian, that OHA additionally misspent more than $74 million of federal Medicaid funds on improper payments. Some of these improper payments must be repaid to the federal government, thereby endangering Oregon’s already precarious budget situation.
I appreciate the new OHA director’s public disclosure of longstanding mismanagement of taxpayer funds. It’s the first of many necessary steps current leadership should take to improve transparency, efficiency, and accountability to Oregon taxpayers.
The Secretary of State’s Improper Medicaid Payments Audit report is scheduled to be released in the coming weeks. The thorough findings will reveal the mismanagement and waste of substantial amounts of taxpayer money. Stay tuned for that report.