ST. PAUL, MN – Today, the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) released a report reviewing the Department of Human Service’s verification of MinnesotaCare enrollee eligibility. The report found significant problems related to enrollees maintaining eligibility as well as recommended that the department implement a more frequent review of enrollee eligibility for MinnesotaCare, as required in state law.
Following the report’s release, Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth), Chair of the House State Government Finance Committee, issued the following statement.
“Today’s non-partisan report is further confirmation that the Dayton Administration’s lack of accountability is resulting in millions of taxpayer dollars being wasted by giving public assistance to people who are ineligible to receive government benefits.” said Chair Anderson. “The administration needs to implement the computer system mandated by state law in order to find ineligible enrollees and put an end to this abuse of taxpayer money. With a functioning system in place, our state could save millions of dollars to be used for priorities such as mental health grants, K-12 education and healthcare.”
On Tuesday, Chair Anderson sent a letter to MN.IT Commissioner Clyborne and DHS Commissioner Piper regarding delays with an IT program known as Periodic Data Matching (PDM), which helps reduce waste, fraud, and abuse on Minnesota public health care programs by matching recipient data to other available data sources at least once per year for verification. The letter seeks an updated timeline for implementation of PDM; the status of issues remaining with the IRS, which is cited by DHS and MN.IT as part of the reason for the delay; and what plans the agencies have to make taxpayers whole for the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted as a result of these delays. According to DHS, these delays are costing Minnesota $18.8 million in state and federal funds per month. By the end of this calendar year, Minnesota will surpass half a billion dollars in wasted funds since 2016 because this program is not in place.
In 2015 the Periodic Data Matching requirement was signed into law by the governor following its passage by the legislature. Implementation of PDM was supposed to begin on March 1, 2016 but more than two years later the program is still not in place.