Do States Actually Make Sure Dead People Don’t Get Medicaid?

Four states approved $580 million of potentially phony Medicaid payments in 2011, and the officials responsible don’t seem to be in a hurry to fix the problems that allowed the wasted spending to happen in the first place.

Jail inmates, dead people and doctors previously thrown out of the program were among the thousands of recipients in the wasteful federal spending gravy train.

New Jersey, Arizona, Michigan, Florida, and likely more states, allowed the fraudulent Medicaid payments because they didn’t check databases to ensure that beneficiaries and providers were eligible, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

“The bottom line … is to narrow the windows of opportunity for improper payments,” GAO Audit Services Director Seto Bagdoyan, the report’s author, said Friday.