State Auditor Mary Taylor announced Wednesday she has begun a special audit of the Medicaid spend-down program in Erie County Job and Family Services.
Special audits take place when there are allegations of fraud or theft, Taylor explained. She did not say how much money appears to be involved and said few specific details of her probe would be released while the audit is taking place.
Administrators at Erie County Job and Family Services requested the probe.
The spend-down program provides help with medical bills for people who aren't actually eligible for Medicaid, the federal program that provides medical care for the poor, Taylor's office explained in a Wednesday news release.
"My office is uniquely equipped to assist the Erie County Department of Job and Family Services in identifying issues with the Medicaid spend-down program," Taylor said. "During the audit process, we will analyze the use of public tax dollars and determine if they were used appropriately."
About two or three weeks ago Erie County's commissioners learned there was possible trouble in the program and an audit might be needed, Commissioner Bill Monaghan said Wednesday night.
"We were notified that they may ask the state auditor to look into some things that were happening at Job and Family Services," Monaghan said.
"When something goes on in one of our departments, they usually keep the commissioners up to date," he said. "There's a good line of communication that happens with all of the departments through Mike Bixler."