Office of Inspector General Launches Website for Reporting Public Assistance Fraud and Abuse
MADISON-The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), an office within the Department of Health Services (DHS), today announced a new website for reporting possible public assistance fraud. Those who suspect anyone of fraudulent activity in public assistance programs can report fraud online at dhs.wisconsin.gov or by calling the Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline at 1-877-865-3432.
"Since many of our investigations begin after we receive tips from the public, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to report suspected fraud," said Inspector General Alan White. "My office processes and reviews all of the tips we receive. If we find violations of state and federal laws, we work with law enforcement and the Department of Justice to take the appropriate action."
The hotline received 410 calls in the first three months, with 90 percent relating to recipient fraud, waste or abuse. Some 45 percent of the calls resulted in further investigation. The new website is expected to receive a similar number of fraud tips, leading to additional investigations.
The Department of Health Services manages many of the state's largest public assistance programs, including Medicaid, FoodShare, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental food program and the state portion of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The OIG is responsible for DHS fraud detection efforts, implementing fraud prevention budget initiatives and any final recommendations made by the Governor's Commission on Waste, Fraud and Abuse.
The OIG investigates fraud tips for any type of abuses of public resources such as:
- Billing Medicaid for services/equipment not provided
- Filing a false application for a DHS-funded assistance program such as Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, WIC or FoodShare
- Trafficking of FoodShare benefits
- Crime/misconduct/mismanagement by a DHS employee/official or contractor