KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Congressional Panel Grills Minn. Official Over Possible Medicaid Overpayments

The state's commissioner for human services was called on to answer questions about why Minnesota got a $30 million payment from a managed care company.

(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Congress Puts Minnesota Medicaid On The Hot Seat
Minnesota's national reputation for being a leader in health care took some hits in Congress with more questions about whether the state manipulated the rate certification process in the Medicaid program to wrongly obtain federal dollars. Meanwhile, the state's commissioner for human services faced a bipartisan grilling Wednesday, April 25, on how she handled a $30 million payment to the state last year from UCare, a health plan based in Minneapolis that manages care for Medicaid patients. The testimony came before a subcommittee on oversight and government reform in the U.S. House, where Democrats from the Minnesota congressional delegation tried to cast blame for any questions about the state's Medicaid program on the administration of Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Snowbeck, 4/26).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Congress Scrutinizes $30 Million Medicaid 'Gift' To Minnesota 
A $30 million "gift" to Minnesota from one of the state's principal Medicaid contractors has put Gov. Mark Dayton's administration in the sights of a congressional investigation, with lawmakers examining whether state officials tried to shortchange the federal government for medical services to the poor and disabled. Commissioner Lucinda Jesson of the Minnesota Department of Human Services came under withering fire on Wednesday before a U.S. House committee hearing testimony from a state whistleblower alleging massive fraud. Facing questions from GOP lawmakers, Jesson was called on to explain how the state handled an unprecedented $30 million windfall from UCare, one of four contractors that administer Medicaid programs for the state (Diaz, 4/26).

MinnPost: Congressional Panel Grills DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson On State Medicaid Spending
Gov. Mark Dayton's human services commissioner on Wednesday faced a combative congressional panel that accused Minnesota officials of requesting an improper amount of Medicaid money from the federal government. At the heart of the hearing were years of overpayments in Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government to managed care organizations in Minnesota (Henry, 4/25).

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