Audit: Oregon Health Authority plagued by improper payments

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A new audit from Secretary of State Dennis Richardson’s office says the Oregon Health Authority has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars.

The audit completed a month ago and released Wednesday says nearly 50,000 people were found to be ineligible for the Medicaid benefits they received. Reasons for their ineligibility included making too much money, moving out of state or simply failing to respond to state inquiries.

The report notes that preventing improper payments is a more cost-effective strategy than attempting to recover improper payments. Richardson, meanwhile, blasted the agency’s previous leadership team for failing to fully cooperate with auditors.

Laura Robison, the agency’s chief financial officer, disputed some of the findings, but said the authority can do better and will implement the audit’s recommendations.