Medicaid fraud has cost Louisiana millions of dollars. That's the finding in a new audit just released. The report says the state spent between $60 and $85 million providing Medicaid coverage to recipients who were not eligible for the program because they made too much money.

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has filed legislation to reduce the fraud by requiring states to use federal tax information to verify income eligibility.  The requirement would apply to the Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) programs.

The bill comes on the heels of the Legislative Auditor’s report show massive fraud in our state.

 “The report is stunning.  It is breathtaking.  There are not words in English to describe what our Legislative Auditor found,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “In 20 months, between $61 million and $85 million apparently has been wasted.  The Department of Health just threw the money in the dirt.  Incompetence like this is why I introduced legislation that will require every state Medicaid program and, for that matter, welfare and food stamps to use federal income tax data to determine eligibility.  It’s the most accurate income data we have out there. It would be a requirement.  Right now it’s optional.”

Kennedy has also called for the resignation of LDH Secretary Rebekah Gee

Kennedy also released specific examples of fraud pointed out in the Legislative Auditors report:

The Department of Health (LDH) required Medicaid recipients to self-report income changes. Because of that, some folks who got raises or changed jobs could still get benefits even though they were no longer eligible.

Gee says the department will  implement a new system that will use Louisiana Workforce Commission data to check income figures.

Click here to see the full report.