TRENTON – Senator Wayne R. Bryant today said he has “serious concerns” about the ability of the State Medicaid program to detect waste and fraud in the $9 billion-a-year program.
“The national estimates of waste and fraud in Medicaid don’t seem to be turning out in New Jersey for whatever reasons,” said Senator Bryant, Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “If New Jersey has the most honest Medicaid system in the nation, they should get an award. But if we’re just not ferreting out the bad guys, something has to be done.”
Senator Bryant said that’s why he and the rest of his panel want to hear from the experts on Tuesday when State Medicaid Director Ann Kohler, State Auditor Richard Fair and John Krayniak of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit are scheduled to appear before the committee starting at 10 a.m. in Room 4 of the State House Annex.
While the Hall Institute of Public Policy recently reported that 28 other states announced efforts to reduce Medicaid fraud and abuse last year, “New Jersey did not report any new efforts to reduce fraud and abuse.”
Nationally, the Government Accounting Office estimates the loss of Medicaid funds due to fraud may be as high as 10 percent of program expenditures.
“If we’re not rooting out fraud and waste, we want to find out why,” Sen. Bryant said.