The Medicaid Audit's Public Hearing
Six weeks after the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released its long-anticipated Medicaid Audit Report, the Joint Committee on Audit met today to hear the LAB's findings for the first time. Unfortunately, there was no live broadcast of the hearing, as was previously announced, but video coverage will be available on WisconsinEye shortly. The LAB power point is also available online, and can be found here.
The Audit Report revealed a disturbing lack of contract oversight by the Department of Health Service (DHS), which DHS did not argue. Secretary Dennis Smith presented on behalf of DHS and described "passionate agreement" with most of the audit recommendations. Smith also commented on the return of the $38 million Early Innovator funding to build a health exchange in Wisconsin by the Walker Administration. He lauded the decision, claiming that the Federal government was micromanaging the exchange implementation under the grant. Smith claimed federal officials micromanaged the process and cited as an example that regulators wanted too many details like the resumes of Exchange Board members. He concluded that he envisioned an Exchange that resembled a Dane County farmer’s market in simplicity and regulation. The government created the "roads and sidewalks" and allows the market to flourish and provide choice for consumers. (Editor's note: Anyone who's ever tried to set up a table at the farmer's market can testify that it is not a regulation-free zone.)