TOPEKA – (August 29, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today announced his office has begun a nationwide search for a new inspector general for the Kansas Medicaid program.
“Medicaid expenditures constitute about one-fifth of the total Kansas state budget,” Schmidt said. “Our office has a long history of combating fraud and abuse in the Kansas Medicaid program, and the Legislature has now directed us to expand our role by establishing a robust Office of Medicaid Inspector General to assist in Medicaid oversight. Today we are taking the first step in doing so.”
A legislative interim committee in 2005 first recommended establishment of an Inspector General’s Office to audit and investigate operations of the Kansas Medicaid program. In 2007, the Legislature created the Office of Inspector General, which initially was attached to the Kansas Health Policy Authority. After the KHPA was abolished in 2011, the inspector general was moved to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Since then, efforts to hire and retain an inspector general have had little success.
Earlier this year, the Legislature overhauled the statute that creates the Office of Inspector General, raised the position’s salary to that of a district court judge, and reorganized the office to make it more independent of the program it oversees by moving the inspector general to the attorney general’s office.
Schmidt said the search for a new inspector general will be nationwide and will continue until a suitable candidate is identified.
“The key to the inspector general performing as the Legislature envisions is to get the right person in the job,” Schmidt said. “We’re casting the net as wide as possible in an effort to do that.”
By law, the inspector general is responsible for conducting audits of the Medicaid program and for making recommendations to improve the program.
The statute provides that the attorney general appoints the inspector general and the Kansas Senate must confirm the appointment. To maintain independence, the inspector general then serves a fixed term of office and may be removed before the end of a term only for cause.
The posting for the Medicaid inspector general is available at http://bit.ly/2voEJIO.