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April 30, 2012 | last updated May 1, 2012 11:15 am

Mayhew: DHHS computer error cost $10.7M

The Department of Health and Human Services has put a dollar amount to a computer billing error that allowed thousands of ineligible people to receive MaineCare benefits. Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the state paid medical providers $10.7 million in ineligible benefits, and that it must pay back $3.8 million of that to the federal government for its share of reimbursements.

Mayhew first alerted legislators to the error in March, and previous estimates pegged the number of people who received benefits in error to as high as 24,300, but further analysis showed that only 7,730 ineligible people received benefits, according to the Portland Press Herald. An additional $1.8 million was paid out this year that needs further study. Mayhew told lawmakers Friday that the state won't be able to recoup any of the money mistakenly paid to medical providers.

According to revised projections, DHHS' shortfall for budget-year 2013 is $82.5 million, down from an initial projection of $89 million, according to Capitol News Service.

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