BOSTON (WWLP) – State Auditor Suzanne Bump told 22News that her office is doing a better job of identifying fraud through data analytics.
The Bureau of Special Investigations found a record $15.4 million dollars in public benefits theft in fiscal 2016. That’s a 12% increase over the previous fiscal year.
The Auditor’s office hopes to stay ahead of the curve by identifying cases of fraud early on, instead of waiting for agencies to report their suspicions.
The MassHealth program is the largest fraud target.
West Springfield state Senator James Welch, the chair of the Health Care Financing Committee, told 22News that the state needs to create tougher punishments for those who defraud the system. He said, “Make sure that we’re holding these healthcare providers accountable for the services that they provide, and make sure that they’re billing the way that they’re supposed to be billing.”
The State Auditor’s office will be working with law enforcement to prosecute cases of fraud and to recover the money.