FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 3, 2004) - The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has joined a multi-state system designed to detect fraud in public assistance programs.
Kentucky is a member of the Public Assistance Reporting Information System - known as PARIS. The system was designed by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to provide state public assistance programs with information to see if clients are receiving benefits in more than one state. ACF is the agency that oversees and funds state-operated programs handled by Kentucky’s Department of Community Based Services.
"Our cabinet wants to make sure that its programs are free from fraud and properly serving those who are eligible," said Health and Family Services Secretary James W. Holsinger Jr., M.D. "We're doing our best to properly safeguard these programs to improve efficiency and detect fraud."
Kentucky’s membership in the system is part of the cabinet’s response to Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s call to make state government more efficient and to detect waste, fraud and abuse.
Under PARIS, a file of client data from states’ Medicaid, Transitional Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Food Stamps programs is sent for this matching process. The ACF coordinates the matching of data from participating states with various federal agencies to validate client-reported circumstances and identify possible candidates for erroneous and fraudulent payments.
This match routine provides states with information on duplicate payments made to the same client in more than one state -- especially those residing in border states -- and also additional information regarding income eligibility. This match routine occurs quarterly. Maryland recently reported savings of $7.3 million during its very first match process.
Currently 28 other states participate. This match process is free to states. The only costs involved are the states’ internal processing to send and receive these files. Five of Kentucky’s border states - Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio and Illinois - also participate in PARIS.
Kentucky expects to perform its first match during August 2004.
Editor's Note: The Cabinet for Health and Family Services' Office of Inspector General has a toll-free phone line to report fraud and abuse in health and benefit programs. The number is 1-800-372-2970.