Georgia to abandon accounting practice, lose Medicaid funds

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Georgia soon will have $300 million less in its Medicaid budget to pay nursing homes and other providers as a result of halting a questionable accounting practice.

The state said this week it has agreed to stop using a financing scheme that allows it to attract more federal Medicaid matching dollars. The decision follows a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office saying that such an accounting scheme is inappropriate. The state received an extra $300 million for its Medicaid program in each of the past two years by the accounting move.

Georgia has not yet been asked to pay back any money from inappropriate accounting methods. The accounting practice was stopped July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.