Faulted in Medicaid Fraud, Company Keeps Contract
For nearly five years, a state contractor allowed workers with limited expertise to approve dental claims for Texas’ Medicaid program, the joint state-federal insurer. State spending on orthodontic services spiraled out of control; by 2012, federal and state auditors found that the contractor’s actions had opened the door for a “massive Medicaid fraud scheme” that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
More than two years later, Texas health officials have reeled in spending on Medicaid orthodontic services and pursued legal action against health care providers who billed for the services. But a Texas Tribune investigation found that while health officials have repeatedly raised concerns with the contractor, a Xerox subsidiary called the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership, they have not severed its multiyear contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Critics accuse the state of dragging its feet because of the contractor’s political ties to Gov. Rick Perry, a claim the governor’s office says is not true.