RELEASE: Comptroller General Points to Oregon Audits Division for Value of Medicaid Audit Work

SALEM, OR — On June 27, the United States Comptroller General highlighted the work of the Oregon Audits Division in testimony before a Congressional committee. The testimony outlined existing risks in Medicaid and the importance of auditors for their work in evaluating this program. 

Comptroller General Eugene L. Dodaro, head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In his testimony, Dodaro explained his concerns regarding improper payments in the Medicaid program and advocated that urgent action should be taken by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency charged with administering Medicaid in partnership with state governments.

That action, Dodaro testified, should include involving state auditors, such as the Oregon Audits Division.

“The state auditors know this program better than anybody,” Dodaro said. “If they are given proper support and resources, you can prevent a lot of these program integrity problems, and I would encourage the Congress to press for that.”

Dodaro also included several examples of state audits that conducted program integrity reviews to identify improper payments —the Oregon Audits Division among them.

“In 2017, the Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division found approximately 31,300 questionable payments to Coordinated Care Organizations (which receive capitated monthly payments for beneficiaries, similar to managed care organizations), based on a review of 15 months of data,” Dodaro said in his written testimony.

“In addition, the state auditor found that approximately 47,600 individuals enrolled in Oregon’s Medicaid program were ineligible, equating to $88 million in avoidable expenditures.”

The testimony held that these audits can be valuable to federal agencies like CMS by providing insights into program weaknesses. Better coordination among federal and state auditors could also provide state auditors the opportunity to learn methods for conducting program integrity audits and reviews.

“I had the opportunity to bring our excellent work to General Dodaro’s attention at the National Intergovernmental Audit Forum,” said Kip Memmott, director of the Oregon Audits Division. “That he chose to highlight our work before a Congressional committee demonstrates the real impact our audit work can have. We are committed to collaborating both with the Government Accountability Office and other federal agencies to improve government services.”

“I’m continually impressed by and proud of the excellent work of the Audits Division,” said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. “Their professionalism and dedication to serving the people of Oregon is world-class.”

Read the full Medicaid audit, “Oregon Health Authority Should Improve Efforts to Detect and Prevent Improper Medicaid Payments,” on the Secretary of State website.