RELEASE: SOS Auditors Win National Award for Audit Alert on Medicaid Eligibility

Salem, OR – An Audit Alert issued last year from Oregon’s Secretary of State Audits Division has won the Excellence in Accountability Award in the special projects category from the National State Auditors Association.

The alert, issued in May 2017, reported approximately 86,000 Medicaid recipients in Oregon had not undergone the required annual eligibility redetermination process. As a result, there was a risk those individuals were improperly receiving Medicaid benefits.

The risk was uncovered by two teams of auditors conducting audits at the Oregon Health Authority’s Medicaid program. Recognizing the need to communicate the risk in a timely manner in accordance with auditing standards, the Audits Division issued the alert promptly, rather than wait for the completion of both audits.

On April 30, the National State Auditors Association notified the Audits Division the Audit Alert had been awarded the 2018 Excellence in Accountability Award.

“I am proud of the innovative reporting approach we used to inform key stakeholders of an urgent issue in a timely manner,” said Audits Director Kip Memmott. “We will continue to lean forward in terms of our innovation and efforts to maximize audit impacts.”

The teams who uncovered the risk went on to release two full audits, one assessing the automated computer programs involved in processing Medicaid eligibility, the other examining efforts by the Oregon Health Authority to detect and prevent improper Medicaid payments.

“Congratulations to the outstanding audit team that worked on this Audit Alert,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “It’s refreshing to see the hard work of our auditors rewarded with national recognition, rather than downplayed with accusations of playing politics. Our Audits Division has been setting an example of professionalism, transparency, accountability, and integrity for the entire country.”

This is the second time the Oregon Audits Division has earned this award. In 2015, an audit examining the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program won the Excellence in Accountability Award for best large performance audit.

The award will be presented during a luncheon on June 14 at the 2018 NSAA Annual Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The National State Auditors Association is part of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, and is the premier organization working to bring together state auditors, state comptrollers, and state treasurers to cooperatively address government financial management issues.

Each year, the association chooses one audit project in four categories—large and small performance audits, special projects, and forensic reports—for the Excellence in Accountability Award. This award recognizes some of the most innovative thinking in the current state government auditing environment.

Read the Audit Alert on the Secretary of State website