ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and a state senator are calling for a state and national audit of Medicaid.
Bachmann and Sen. Sean Nienow, a Cambridge Republican, said at a Tuesday news conference that the HMOs handling taxpayer-funded health care plans have profited from poor oversight and payment structure while low-income Minnesotans and doctors have suffered.
Nienow, who once served as Bachmann's field office director in Minnesota, enlisted her help in 2012 when he launched a similar effort to call attention to accounting issues in the public healthcare contracts in Minnesota.
A report last month showed Minnesota has overpaid health maintenance organizations like Health Partners and Medica by at least $207 million. Several doctors say they've struggled to give care to poor patients because the state's reimbursement rates are too low.
Nienow introduced a bill requiring a larger audit of Minnesota's Medicaid system and has another measure requiring HMOs to refund money if the state finds evidence of overpayment in their past contracts with the Minn Dept of Human Services.
Bachmann says she believes the problems are widespread. She's calling for a nationwide audit.
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