Health Department Responds to Most Recent Audit

Baton Rouge, La. (July 30, 2018) – In its most recent audit of the Louisiana Department of Health and the Attorney General’s office about the Medicaid Fraud Fund, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor cited both agency’s management of the fund. The audit said both the state health department and the AG need to develop more effective processes to identify and ensure that the appropriate funds are deposited into the fund.

This is a valid finding by the Auditor, however, it is important to note four critical facts:

• The Louisiana Department of Health, under this Administration, immediately took steps to begin correcting the problems as soon as they were brought to our attention.
• The transfer of $2.79 million from one account to the Fraud Fund was made less than a month after the situation was recognized.
• LDH is currently updating job descriptions and correcting how costs are allocated.
• Fraud-fighting and fraud prevention efforts were never compromised.

In a response accompanying the audit, the Louisiana Department of Health said the core of this audit were policies that were in place prior to this administration in which Medicaid-related fines and penalties were classified as self-generated revenue.

Cindy Rives, LDH undersecretary, said when this administration learned from the Auditor that there were questions about the proper account in which to deposit these funds, LDH transferred the money from one account to the other.

“We have been correcting a problem that was inherited from the previous administration, and that was brought to our attention by the Auditor,” explained Rives. “Instead of depositing these funds into the Medicaid Fraud Fund, the process had been to deposit the funds into another account in the agency. It is important to note that these funds were properly accounted for and reported every year.”

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