Not Fraud

Not Fraud

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I go from the Commerce and Human Resource Committee to the Health and Welfare Committee. It is rare I can see an overlap, but maybe I was looking for it this day.

The Commerce and HR Committee had a presentation about fraud and what different agencies are doing about it. There were many descriptions of the scams perpetrated on folks. We also approved a draft of a law to address a private transfer fee covenant scheme that has been sweeping the country. Sometimes a developer will place a covenant on a property that requires that every time it is sold in the future, the buyer must pay a “fee” to the original author of the covenant. Apparently it is legal, even though it sounds crooked. So we are making a law to make it illegal. Good for us.

I had time only to get a cup of coffee before The Health and Welfare Committee meeting started. We were still reviewing rules. We approved a rule to allow for negotiation in the Nursing Home assessment. Here is how this works: Medicaid charges are paid with state funds and federal funds at a fixed ratio. In Idaho’s case, this is currently set at 77/23, due to go down to 70/30 next year. Idaho is strapped for cash. But if we reduce the direct payment to nursing homes they lose over 3 dollars of Federal money for every dollar we cut. So instead, we “assess” the nursing homes a fee, say 6 cents for every Medicaid dollar. Thus they get the maximum from the federal government and we get some back. Let me be clear: THIS IS NOT FRAUD. There is nothing secret about it. All states do it. It just doesn’t feel right. I expect I will learn to tell the difference.

About ddxdx

A Family physician, former county coroner and former Idaho State Senator
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