Congress Launches Minnesota Medicaid Investigation

Updated: 04/25/2012 12:05 PM By: Jay Kolls

A House committee will quiz a member of Governor Dayton's cabinet about possible fraud in the Minnesota Medicaid program. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson will have to answer questions about what she knew about possible fraud in the Medicaid program ... when she knew it, what she did about it, and who is held accountable.

Congress wants to find out if the four HMOs that run Minnesota's Medicaid program conspired with the state to illegally inflate Medicaid costs to get federal matching dollars. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, Medica, U-Care, and HealthPartners run the state's $4 billion-a-year Medicaid program. That money is funded entirely by taxpayers.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee will quiz Commissioner Jesson, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will also testify. Bachmann wants to introduce federal legislation that would require every HMO in the country to have an independent audit before they receive any federal money for Medicaid in the future.

Editors Note:   In a previous version of this story we showed the logos of Park Nicollet Health Services, Fairview Health Services and Allina Hospitals & Clinics while reporting on health plans that administer the Minnesota Medicaid program. Park Nicollet, Fairview and Allina are care providers and they are not part of the administration of the Minnesota Medicaid program. We regret the error.