A California program that covers addiction treatments for the poor may have paid $93.7 million in fraudulent claims, a state audit showed.
The report released Tuesday by the California State Auditor showed that the state's Drug Medi-Cal program may have paid more than $3 million in claims for patients who were actually dead, and found serious deficiencies in the agency's records for 30 drug treatment program providers.
“It is a very troubling audit,” said State Senator Ted Lieu, a Southern California Democrat who requested the audit along with another lawmaker. “It shows that there is significant fraud in California’s Drug Medi-Cal system, and that this fraud has been ongoing for many years.”
The audit was spurred by a 2013 investigation by The Center For Investigative Reporting and CNN, which found questionable billing practices at drug-treatment clinics in Southern California. The program is a division of the state's healthcare program for the poor, known as Medi-Cal.