California approved almost $1 million in payments to drug rehabilitation providers to provide substance abuse programs for the dead, according to a new report from the state auditor, whose office reviewed the California Department of Health Care Services and the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs administration of the Drug Medi-Cal Treatment Program.
The audit found that between July 1, 2008, and December 31, 2013, the state approved $1 million to ineligible substance abuse providers, and 323 cases where more than $10,000 was paid to providers for services ostensibly rendered to the deceased.
Among the auditor’s findings:
An analysis of four years’ worth of program claims billing data identified $93.7 million in authorized payments that potentially were indicative of fraudulent activity.
Neither department implemented an effective provider certification process, nor did they enforce laws and regulations designed to prevent fraudulent applicants from obtaining certification.
Neither department consistently followed its own certification processes, and serious deficiencies were found in each of the files of 25 program provider applicants that were reviewed.
The departments took steps to strengthen the program recertification process only when mandated to do so by the federal government.