County recovered $148,000 in medical assistance in 2007

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Sibley County collected $148,005.85 in medical assistance (MA) recoveries in 2007.

Emma Woods, fiscal supervisor for the Human Services Department, explained to the board March 18 that the majority of the money recovered, $116,780.48, was through estate recoveries.

“Estate recoveries are what is left in an MA client’s estate after the funeral bill and cost of administration have been paid,” Woods explained. “We can claim up to the amount paid out by MA.” No recovery can be made if there is a surviving spouse, disabled child or if the client is under age 55, Woods said. “Many times there is no money remaining in the estate to recover.”

In 2007, there were 40 medical assistance client deaths. Sibley County was able to recover funds in six of the cases. 13 cases are not yet completed.

Woods said that the large recoveries usually occur when there is property to be sold. These cases may involve a lot of work, with considerable work done by the county attorney, she said.

$29,937.17 was collected through medical assistance excess assets. Woods explained that excess asset recoveries are done when a client has more money than medical assistance allows, and the client chooses to pay it in to medical assistance rather than have their case closed. These monies are recovered by the case financial worker.

Sibley County collected $1,288.20 in medical assistance fraud recoveries. Fraud recoveries are medical assistance overpayments that have been taken to court by the fraud investigator and have been court ordered to be repaid.

The county is allowed to keep 25% of the total for the work involved in the collection, and the remainder is sent to the state, Woods said.

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