New state Medicaid director Tony Keck says the deficit at the agency is “unprecedented in its size,” so he and Gov. Nikki Haley have asked for an official Legislative Audit Council audit. In a press conference Wednesday, Haley said she has asked for help: “In order for us to figure out how we’re going to deal with this going forward, we have to figure out how we got here.”
LAC reports have to be requested by the legislature, so Haley called on a group of legislators led by Rep. Kenny Bingham (R-Lexington) to ask for the audit. Large-scale LAC audits can take months, but Haley says Keck’s hands are already tied by a proviso that prohibits him from reducing provider rates.
Cherokee Senator Harvey Peeler introduced a bill to roll back that proviso. It passed in the Senate Finance Committee last week.