Utah saves millions in Medicaid costs

Utah's Medicaid Inspector General has saved $10 million in its first year of operation, and could wind up recouping another $20 million in potential overpayments to hospitals, The Salt Lake City Tribune reported.

The Utah OIG was able to claw back $5.6 million in claim overpayments, and realized another $4 million in savings by scrutinizing the off-label use of psychotropic medications by providers, according to the article.

Although those savings are below the $20 million a year set by lawmakers when they created the office, OIG Lee Wyckoff said he's in negotiations with hospitals to recover as much as $20.5 million in Medicaid overpayments to hospitals dating back to 2008.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers hope to reform the Medicaid program further, pushing for block grants from the federal government unfettered by Medicaid regulation, according to the Daily Herald. Utah is one of the most conservative states in the United States and has been systematically pushing for less regulation.

"We get a Republican president, we'll get that last piece we need," Dan Liljenquist, a state Senator now running for the U.S. Senate, told the Daily Herald. "It has to be fixed or we are going to be in trouble."

For more:
- read the Salt Lake City Tribune article
- read the Daily Herald article