KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

GAO: Medicaid Payment Information Late, Inconsistent

The Government Accountability Office's report examined two Medicaid databases.

CQ HealthBeat: GAO Finds That Two Medicaid Data Sets Should Be Better Aligned
Two methods federal officials use to report Medicaid expenditures don't match up, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday. And GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch says that such discrepancies call into question whether expanding Medicaid in 2014 is a good idea. The 56-page GAO report did not include specific recommendations for Medicaid officials, but noted that it has previously put the health program for the poor on its list of programs that are vulnerable to waste and fraud (Adams, 11/29).

Bloomberg: Mismatched Data Hamper U.S. Accounting Of Medicaid Costs 
Delays in reporting the data and inconsistencies between the two databases “limit their usefulness as oversight tools,” auditors said in the report. States are supposed to report one set of Medicaid spending to the federal government within 45 days of the expenditures. The statistics can be as many as three years late, GAO said. Hospitals are under increasing scrutiny for their use of computer systems to increase their billings to Medicare, the $591 billion U.S. health program for the elderly and disabled (Wayne, 11/29).

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