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Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson has tagged the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) with the name "Agency of Wasteful Spending" Wednesday after the state audit division released a detailed report on OHA's failure to follow Federal rules on the proper evaluation of Medicaid recipients.

The Federal Government requires a one-year time limit to evaluate the eligibility of people receiving Medicaid and Richardson says the agency was the subject of his audit division's first Audit Alert in May of this year when it was estimated that some 86,000 individuals had not been evaluated within the federal time limit.

The complete audit reports a much higher number stating the corrected number is 115,235 people. Richardson says of that number 'It was finally determined that 47,600 were ineligible for the benefits being paid them."

There were various causes for ineligibility such as higher than allowed income, people who had moved out of state, or those who had failed to respond to written status inquiries.

Auditors estimate that OHA misspent $88 million between March 1 and August 31 of 2017 alone.

Richardson states the OHA Medicaid audit was difficult to complete as he charges the agency's previous leadership failed to cooperate. He says the agency's lack of cooperation was so blatant auditors were required by national standards to make note of it in the audit under a special section.

Reportedly, the agency's lapses that went unreported due to lack of cooperation with the audit division amounts to millions of dollars more.

Richardson says that because the agency's previous administration overestimated the number of eligible Medicaid recipients for this fiscal year based on the faulty reporting the state General Fund will increase by nearly $100 million that the legislature can use for other purposes.

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