WICHITA, Kan. — A federal agency and Kansas are at odds over whether the state took nearly $18 million in Medicaid funds that it shouldn’t have.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General says Kansas overstated enrollment, particularly in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, when seeking bonus payments to offset Medicaid costs, which led to it being overpaid, the Wichita Eagle reported .

The office’s November report audited bonus payments from 2009 and 2013, and recommended the state refund the money.

The state maintains that it followed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ guidelines for calculating the number of children enrolled in the program.

“Kansas understands the importance of utilizing federal Medicaid funds appropriately. This was no exception,” said Christine Swartz, the state’s deputy Medicaid director.

The inspector general’s office hasn’t sought the funds’ return but only issued a recommendation, said Angela de Rocha, a spokeswoman for KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program.

“We don’t believe we did anything wrong,” de Rocha said.

The report comes as KanCare seeks reauthorization from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Medicaid is a federal program run by states that gives the uninsured health care.

Audits of other states have also found extra bonus payments. Another report released this month said Ohio was overpaid by nearly $30 million.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com