Recovery audit reveals state department’s overpayments, duplicate payments

A recent recovery audit found a high rate of duplicate payments made by Medicaid and Washington state's Department of Labor and Industries between July 2008 and June 2011, KATU-TV reports.

In a case study of 50 sample claims, auditors uncovered five instances of duplicate payments. 

"Though the dollar amount in question is small, we consider the error rate of 10 percent very high," the audit said, as quoted by the news source.

Additionally, the investigation found that the department paid $3.8 million for missed doctor's appointments over the same time period, and violated its own policy by paying more for some claimants' medical equipment than its regulations permitted.

The audit recommended that the department introduce an internal control system to mitigate the likelihood of overpayments and duplicate payments in the future – a course of action that can benefit organizations across sectors. In conjunction with regular accounts payable audits, setting up a series of robust checks and balances can reduce payment errors and decrease the chance of embezzlement. 

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