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Highlights

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees Medicaid, estimated that improper payments in the federal-state Medicaid program were $21.9 billion in fiscal year 2011. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 established the Medicaid Integrity Program and gave CMS an expanded role in assisting and improving the effectiveness of state activities to ensure proper payments. Making effective use of this expanded role, however, requires that federal resources are targeted appropriately and do not duplicate state activities. GAO was asked to testify on Medicaid program integrity. GAO's statement focuses on how CMS's expanded role in ensuring Medicaid program integrity (1) poses a challenge because of overlapping state and federal activities regarding provider audits and (2) presents opportunities through oversight to enhance state program integrity efforts. To do this work, GAO reviewed CMS reports and documents on Medicaid program integrity as well as its own and others' reports on this topic. In particular, GAO reviewed CMS reports that documented the results of its state oversight and monitoring activities. GAO also interviewed CMS officials in the agency's Medicaid Integrity Group (MIG), which was established to implement the Medicaid Integrity Program. This work was conducted in November and December 2011. GAO discussed the facts in this statement with CMS officials.

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