WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Battle-lines are being drawn between the U.S. government and some state governments over Medicaid funding procedures, the New York Times reported Monday.
The General Accounting Office said in a report that "states have created the illusion that they have made large Medicaid payments" to hospitals and nursing homes, and they claimed federal Medicaid money to help defray the costs, even as they required counties to return most of the money to the state.
Federal investigators claim such practices take place in Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington, among other states.
"The Medicaid program must be a federal-state partnership, not an exercise in financial gamesmanship," said Dennis Smith, the top federal official for Medicaid, who added states were using "complex, creative financing schemes" and exploiting loopholes in federal laws and regulations to "shift a larger portion of Medicaid costs to the federal government."
The dispute will be high on the agenda when the National Governors Association holds its winter meeting beginning Saturday.