Michigan investigators nabbed fraudsters to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in 2018 who were trying to rip off Medicaid or social services programs for poor families across the state.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reports that their internal watchdog, the Office of Inspector General, saved taxpayers more than $237 million in fiscal year 2018, during former governor Rick Snyder’s last year in office.

The new MDHHS director, Robert Gordon, said: “It’s great news that in 2018 our (Inspector General) saved $237.4 million by preventing and discovering fraud and taking action. For each dollar we spent on fraud protection in 2018, $38 was returned to the taxpayers.”

Inspector General Alan Kimichik said that his office’s enforcement actions “benefit all citizens by helping ensure that funds for MDHHS programs are available to the residents that truly need them, and that taxpayers’ money is spent on its intended purpose.”

As a watchdog agency, the Inspector General’s staff works with federal, state and local authorities to investigate fraud, waste and abuse in government-funded healthcare and programs that fall under the traditional definition of welfare.

Some of the Inspector General’s successes in fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30, include:

  • $146 million worth of fraud prevention in public assistance including the SNAP (food stamps) program, TANF cash assistance (welfare), state emergency relief and childcare.
  • $40.5 million in costs avoided by using a data match system to identify individuals receiving public assistance in two or more states at the same time.
  • $30.6 million in savings while scrutinizing Medicaid spending including health care providers engaging in overpayments in the areas of pharmacy, dental, home help, transportation, durable medical equipment and laboratory services.