TRENTON – An audit of Medicaid services conducted by the state shows it could have withheld $140,000 in payments from providers who owed money.
The state, in an audit released today, reported on a program in place to ensure Medicaid providers do not receive payments if they simultaneously owe money to the government.
The audit found 479 Medicaid providers with debt of more than $20 million, including nearly $4 million owed to New Jersey as of February 2011.
The audit showed that 155 of those 479 had submitted claims for payment exceeding $29 million.
But those 155 also had debt; they accounted for $7.4 million of the $20 million in debt that was owed to the government.
The audit disclosed that the state could have withheld $140,000, either partially or completely offsetting debt of some providers.
In a written response, the Department of Human Services said it would work with Treasury to solve the problem, but raised a note of caution.
It stated that it would be impractical to offset Medicaid provider payments with a database for the program that the audit referenced. The Department stated that it processes millions of claims on almost a “real-time” basis, and any delay would cause serious disruption.