Audit shows significant issues

Feb. 01, 2013 @ 05:36 AM

An audit released on Thursday revealed some serious problems with the state's Medicaid system.

State Auditor Beth Wood's department found problems with overall accountability, budgetary issues and report generation that made financial data and other trending information difficult to follow.

The audit revealed that the Division of Medical Assistance overspent an average of $28 million to Medicaid contractors and failed to project costs to the tune of close to $100 million.

While the report was shocking, to most in Raleigh, it was not surprising.

The bottom line is that there has been a degree of incompetency within the Division and it is costing taxpayers in North Carolina millions of dollars.

Other issues found included the Division carrying debt from 2012 to 2013, which is a clear violation of directives given by the General Assembly.

New Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos replied to that DHHS agreed with everything found in the audit.

How could she not?

There is little defense for what was contained in the independent audit.

It is hard to refute a lack of budgetary control, a lack of administrative control and violation of General Assembly directives.

In the end, the situation regarding Medicaid has cost the state more than just dollars.

Now, there is a question of credibility within the state towards how it handles the 1.5 million North Carolinians that currently receive the service.

Granted, Wos has inherited a mess with Medicaid and we do commend her for publicly stating that DHHS is putting measures in place that are proactive and will, hopefully, stem the tide of past misdeeds.

All of that being said, the proof will be in the pudding and we won't get a clear picture on whether or not the operations and controls have been put in place until the next fiscal year.

But, we certainly hope that the state gets its act together before it costs we taxpayers even more.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark