- Associated Press - Friday, February 6, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A new report finds Illinois has continued making health care payments for people who died, despite officials saying last year that the problem needed to be fixed.

A report from state Auditor General William Holland released Thursday found $3.7 million was paid for medical care for about 1,100 people who died. The report found nearly 6,000 people were still marked as eligible for medical services despite being listed as dead elsewhere in state or federal records.

The Associated Press reported in April that the state’s Medicaid program overpaid $12.3 million for services to dead people in 2013. The vast majority of overpayments went to managed care contracts with insurance companies, who then pay for health care for the poor and disabled.

The 2013 audit found one person who died in 1989 had payments of nearly $30,000 made to providers from 2005 through 2013. A department spokeswoman had said last year that it acted immediately when the problem came to light.

The 2014 report from Holland recommends the Department of Healthcare and Family Services improve its system of controls to correctly account for enrollees’ deaths. The department accepted the recommendation.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers (https://bit.ly/1DNH8GJ ) reports Department of Healthcare and Family Services spokesman John Hoffman said 99.9 percent of the 2014 payments are expected to be recovered from insurance companies.

“The payments are troubling,” Hoffman said. He said he expects the problem to subside as the state works out glitches in its expansion of managed care.

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