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Medicaid Errors Costing Virginia Millions

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Virginia is estimated to lose between $18 and $263 million every year from errors by Medicaid applicants.
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Virginia is estimated to lose between $18 and $263 million every year from errors by Medicaid applicants.

Virginia may be losing hundreds of millions of dollars each year because of errors in the processing of medicaid applications. The estimate comes from the state's Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission, or JLARC -- and the report on Medicaid errors says improperly enrolled recipients could have cost the state anywhere between $18 million and $263 million in fiscal year 2009.

JLARC says many errors are due to a paper-driven applicant review process at the local level.

"There's quite a lot of manual work that's done, things like notices, worksheets, says Joe Schwartz, a Medicaid eligibility supervisor in Arlington County, which currently has more than 9000 Medicaid enrollees. "In a lot of ways the Medicaid is still pretty antiquated."

For one thing, there's no way right now for eligibility workers at the local level to easily verify the financial or property assets of applicants. State medicaid supervisors are working on a new  system, but it won't be ready for another two years.

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