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Oct 29, 2009 4:34 PM

Audits planned for home providers in Medicaid

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) The health department is planning audits of every in-home health provider that bills the state through the Medicaid program.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine says the effort is designed to stamp down fraud that is estimated to siphon off millions of dollars from the Louisiana Medicaid program annually.

Levine says his department will contract with up to six accounting firms to conduct the audits over the next few months. Any audits that raise concerns will be referred to Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's office, for review by its Medicaid fraud unit.

Levine says a sample audit of in-home direct care providers has found potential overpayments for services from 2007 to 2008 in nearly 23 percent of those sampled. Louisiana has more than 1,100 in-home service providers signed up with the Medicaid program.

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