Medicaid patients received free rides for errands - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Medicaid patients received free rides for errands

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state of Wisconsin has been forced to repay $347,000 to the federal government for improper Medicaid spending.

  A federal audit estimates taxpayers paid between $700,000 and $1.6 million in 2005 alone for improper transportation of Medicaid patients in Milwaukee County.

  The payments went to Milwaukee-based American United Taxicab, which transports Medicaid recipients to doctor's appointments as required under the program.

  But company general manager Red Christensen says some Medicaid recipients were abusing the program by using the free cab rides to go shopping or do laundry.

  The audit criticized Milwaukee County and health care companies for failing to detect the abuse and recommended they implement tighter controls.

  State Department of Health Services spokeswoman Stephanie Smiley says those changes are in the works.

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