State auditor discusses watching Medicaid costs

RALEIGH — The state’s auditor is highlighting her efforts to watch the spending of billions of dollars on Medicaid, the combined state and federal program to help the poor.

Auditor Beth Wood spoke on Monday to the conservative John Locke Foundation about her investigations into how the $15 billion Medicaid program handles money.


Wood’s office released a performance audit in January saying that how North Carolina pays to treat the mentally ill, substance abusers and people with disabilities leaves too much money to regional managed-care agencies.

Auditors said the state Medicaid office should set targets for profits the entities can keep from the fixed monthly rates received for each patient covered. The auditors calculate that the entities have retained almost $440 million in “excess savings” over three years.