Congress Investigates Minnesota's Medicaid Program

Updated: 04/19/2012 7:21 AM By: Jay Kolls

Congressional hearings start next week, and a member of Governor Dayton's cabinet is ordered to testify. 

A House subcommittee chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa (R)-California, wants to quiz Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson about the way the state handles $4 billion in Medicaid funding.

There already is a federal investigation into Minnesota's Medicaid program, and now there is an official Congressional inquiry. Both investigations are centered on the Department of Human Services and the four HMOs that spend the $4 billion on public health programs.

Investigators are trying to find out if the four HMOs colluded with the state to illegally inflate Medicaid costs to gain federal matching dollars that were not rightfully theirs. If there is evidence of collusion, it would mean the state and the HMOs illegally received billions of dollars.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann says she is also preparing federal legislation that would require the HMOs to submit to independent audits before they receive any federal matching dollars.