Minnesota owes about $48M for improperly used Medicaid payments, CMS says

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Minnesota estimates it owes the federal government $48 million because it improperly used Medicaid money to fund treatment for mentally ill or chemically dependent people, according to the Pioneer Press.

The newspaper reported  this month that CMS ordered the state repay federal Medicaid money that went toward treatment at "institutions for mental diseases" since that is not generally what that funding is used for. The institutions include hospitals and other facilities with more than 16 beds that treat mentally ill or chemically dependent people.

CMS sent a letter to the state's department of human services about the issue in May, ordering repayment. The state was unclear at the time about the amount owed but has now estimated that Minnesota owes the federal government $48 million, according to the Pioneer Press.

Pam Wheelock, acting commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, has attributed the improper payments to a billing error under which Minnesota took out federal money from a consolidated fund for substance abuse treatment instead of using state money.


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