The Whistleblower Institute announces that Wisconsin Department of Health Services reached a $6,991,905 million settlement.
San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/29/2017 -- The Whistleblower Institute announces that Wisconsin Department of Health Services reached a $6,991,905 million settlement over violation of the False Claims Act in its administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formally known as the Food Stamp Program.
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According to the Department of Justice, as part of the settlement, WDHS admitted that, beginning in 2008, it utilized the services of Julie Osnes Consulting, a quality control consultant, to review the error cases identified by WDHS quality control workers. Allegedly, WDHS further admitted that based on instructions from Julie Osnes Consulting it implemented several improper and biased quality control practices, including: (1) finding a basis for dropping error cases from the review by discouraging beneficiaries from cooperating with information requests and pursuing unnecessary information; (2) selectively applying requirements and policies to overturn and reduce errors; (3) asking beneficiaries leading questions to obtain desired answers to eliminate error potential; (4) arbitrating any and all differences with USDA; (5) subjecting error cases to additional scrutiny and quality control casework with the goal of overturning an error or dropping a case; and (6) omitting verifying information in documents made available to USDA.
Reportedly, these practices improperly decreased WDHS's reported error rate, and as a result, WDHS earned performance bonuses for 2009, 2010, and 2011 to which it was not entitled.
"This settlement reflects the Justice Department's commitment to ensuring that taxpayer funds are spent appropriately so that the public can have confidence in the integrity of programs like SNAP," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department's Civil Division.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services is a state supervised and locally administered social services system. WDHS is responsible for maintaining public health.
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