Audit: State needs to better track costs for inmate health care

Posted February 27, 2013

— A spot check of the largest hospitals bills North Carolina paid for prison health care between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, found the state's prison system overpaid by 10 percent on more than $1 million worth of claims.

A report by the State Auditor released Wednesday showed the state paid $105,700 on 10 bills submitted by eight hospitals. The report does not disclose the names of the hospitals or the conditions of the inmates.

"The division did not previously identify these or any other over-billings because it does not perform externally focused recovery audits of hospital charges," the report says. 

Auditors looked only at 10 of the largest hospital claims during the fiscal year. The report notes that the division paid a total of 893 hospital claims totaling about $14 million in costs. 

The audit report recommends that the division contract with a professional audit firm to help spot and recover over payments.

In a response to the audit, the Division of Prisons agreed with the findings and noted that it has put out an "Request for Information" seeking potential auditors to perform the work.

This is not the first time over-billing related to prison health care has been the subject of an audit report. A 2010 audit found the prison system allowed hospitals and other medical providers to dictate the terms of contracts for inmate medical care, leading to a range of pricing.


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  • my2cents-justsaying Feb 27, 2013

    Next time we talk about all the liberals and democrats wasting taxpayer money, remember that the state auditor-- responsible for finding and eliminating waste-- is a democrat! Go Beth Wood! PS... Her opponent in the election was none other than Wake County School Board member Debra Goldman....

  • Terkel Feb 27, 2013

    Agree with Nancy. I'm disappointed though to still hear nothing about firings without benefits at DHHS after the overtime "earned" by the CIO and everyone who conspired with her to hide it. Then let's see exactly who signed those contracts for the Fraud and Abuse Detection system and get rid of them. Then you can go after Gossip Girl and Cell Phone Boy.

  • McLovin Feb 27, 2013

    ummm...inmates do not deserve health care...theres $1MM in savings right there...youre welcome NC

  • ljohnson247 Feb 27, 2013

    hondaboys- $1500 a month to rent a house thur Section 8. Should someone not look at this. This is why they are not looking for a Job. Free housing, food, phone, health care, would you?

  • Nancy Feb 27, 2013

    Beth Wood does incredible work and glad she was reelected - I voted for her because of her past work, even though NOTHING was done with the results prior.

  • wayneboyd Feb 27, 2013

    According to some of the articles I've read and seen on newscasts recently. I would agree to trippling the budget for the office of state auditor. Kudos to that lady she takes her job seriously. I bet if taxpayers paid her on commission we'd see a lot more agencies squirming.

  • Taffy Feb 27, 2013

    In reality this state needs to better track all expenses.How can the spending issues go on for years if they are being audited? You keep hearing of the issues, but not of any solutions that have been implemented.No wonder this state doesn't have any money.............

  • hondaboys Feb 27, 2013

    I am so glad they are checking into all the waste in the state.
    I wish they would look into the section 8 program. I think it's a waste to pay $1,500.00 a month to rent a house for a family. There should be a $600.00 limit.