BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Federal officials say Louisiana improperly received $7 million in performance bonus payments for its enrollment of children in the state Medicaid program.
The inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the state Children's Health Insurance Program, known as LaCHIP, didn't meet federal requirements for the bonus payments.
The state Department of Health and Hospitals agreed with the audit finding.
The inspector general recommended the state refund $7.1 million to the federal government. But DHH spokeswoman Olivia Watkins said Monday that the federal Medicaid agency hasn't indicated if it will seek to recoup the overpayment.
Watkins says if repayment is required, the money would come out of future federal Medicaid funding to the state, at the earliest October 2015.
Louisiana's erroneous claims were made from fiscal years 2009 through 2011, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General. For instance, the state claimed a current Children's Health Insurance Program enrollment of 732,105 in 2011 when the correct number was 692,015, the performance audit report said. There were similar overstatements reported in prior years.
"If the state agency had calculated its current enrollment in accordance with federal requirements, the current enrollment would not have exceeded baseline enrollment by an amount sufficient for Louisiana to qualify for bonus payments," the inspector general said.