California Rolls Out New Anti-Fraud Measures for In-Home Care Program
California's In-Home Supportive Services program has started holding mandated orientation sessions in an effort to reduce fraud, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Some fraud cases have involved IHSS recipients faking need, lying to social workers or splitting wages with caregivers. Other cases have involved caregivers submitting false time sheets, even after a recipient's death or institutionalization.
Earlier this year, the Legislature attempted to reduce state spending on the IHSS program by approving the anti-fraud orientation sessions and other cost-cutting measures.
Starting in November, every California county must hold orientation sessions for new caregivers. New IHSS workers also must pay for their own background checks and fingerprinting.
Current caregivers have until July 2010 to attend an orientation session and comply with the other anti-fraud requirements.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and his administration backed the anti-fraud measures and estimated that they would reduce state spending by about $162 million, or about 10% of the IHSS program's total cost.
However, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office recently projected that the anti-fraud measures would reduce state spending by one-quarter of the governor's estimates, or about $40 million this year.
State lawmakers also have tried to reduce IHSS spending by dropping participants from the program, but recent lawsuits have stalled that effort (Ferriss, Sacramento Bee, 11/27).
More IHSS Recipients Asked To Chip In
In related news, the IHSS program is asking more recipients to share a greater portion of the cost of the program.
Currently, about 8,000 program participants are facing higher bills to receive the same level of in-home care, according to the advocacy group Disability Rights California.Disability Rights California has joined with other groups to file a lawsuit attempting to block the IHSS cuts. The first hearing for the case is scheduled for today (Griffy, Salinas Californian, 11/25). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.