Today Governor Lincoln Chafee released a redacted version of the report produced by Ken Block, that detailed fraud in both the Food Stamps program and the Rhode Island Medicaid program. According to Randal Edgar of The Providence Journal, the 16-page report details fraud ranging from prisoners at the ACI receiving benefits to retail fraud.
The fraud report is the result of an agreement signed on November 19, 2011, between the state of Rhode Island and Simpatico, a company run by former gubernatorial candidate Ken Block. It covered a two-year period of time from 2010 to 2012. According to the background information given in the report, Simpatico received the last of the records for Rhode Island’s Food Stamps and Medicaid programs in May 2012.
Simpatico found many instances of fraud in the Food Stamps Program including but not limited to:
- 60 inmates of the ACI receiving benefits
- Deceased recipients continuing to spend benefits at stores
- Providence Housing Authority residents under reporting benefits that they must declare to the Housing Authority.
- Retailers buying Food Stamp benefits.
The report's authors also found waste and fraud in the state's Medicaid program. According to the official report, Rhode Island Medicaid overpays dental clinics each year by $4.5 million dollars annually. Also, they found that the Rhode Island could save money annually by closing Eleanor Slater Hospital, transferring its patients to nursing homes or appropriate hospital settings.
Rhode Island Medicaid and Food Stamps by the numbers
Medicaid (As of 2009)
- 225,000 Rhode Islanders enrolled
- $690 million dollars spent by the state
Food Stamps (As of the last fiscal year)
- 175,000 Rhode Islanders enrolled
- $289 million dollars in benefits disbursed in Rhode Island
(Statistics reported by www.boston.com)