Auditor McGuiness Named Pharmacist of the Year

NEWARK-   State Auditor Kathy McGuiness was honored as “Delaware’s Pharmacist of the Year” by the Delaware Pharmacist Society (DPS) at their annual conference in Newark. Founded in 1886 as a non-profit, professional association for pharmacists in the State of Delaware, DPS advocates on behalf of its members and promotes public health through the practice of pharmacy.

“It is an honor to be presented with the Pharmacist of the Year Award,” said McGuiness. “This past year has truly highlighted the role pharmacists play as a resource to a community’s health and I am proud to work alongside so many talented, caring individuals.”

McGuiness, a licensed immunizing pharmacist and the highest state-elected pharmacist in the country, has released three special reports so far on the impact that PBMs are having in Delaware. These reports – titled “Lack of Transparency & Accountability in Drug Pricing Could be Costing Taxpayers Millions”, “Millions in Pharmaceutical Savings are Achievable Within Delaware’s Correctional Facilities Without Compromising Service”, and “Predatory Practices: Survey Says Middlemen Destroying Delaware’s Independent Pharmacies” – have garnered national attention and helped to shine a light on how PBMs have overcharged Delaware taxpayers by millions of dollars.

“As a pharmacist, I have seen firsthand the impact high drug prices have on families,” McGuiness said. “People are regularly forced to choose between putting food on the table and affording their life-saving medications.”

McGuiness, a 1997 Bowl of Hygeia recipient, was honored in October among other award recipients, including: Tom Kolowski (Harry C. Zeisig Award), Megan Wiley (Bowl of Hygeia Award), Wendy Bailey (Friend of Pharmacy Award), Brandy Willey (Young Pharmacist Award), Chai Gadde (Excellence in Innovation Award) and Rachel Philipp (Pharmacy Technician of the Year).

“Pharmacists have the unique ability of being analytical and having a scientific mind while also being compassionate and having empathy,” McGuiness said. “If the last year and a half has proven anything, it is that even when many do not trust their governments, they trust their pharmacists. We are the first line of defense.”

For more information about the Delaware State Auditor’s Office, visit: https://auditor.delaware.gov/.

For more information about the Delaware Pharmacists Society, visit: http://www.dpsrx.org/~dpsrxorg/

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Contact:

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

302-857-3907

Anna.Nuzzolese@delaware.gov 


Auditor McGuiness Offers Fraud Detection, Reporting Advice as Delaware Celebrates Third Fraud Awareness Week

DOVER, DEL. – This week marks the beginning of Delaware’s third Fraud Awareness Week, which Governor John C. Carney initiated in 2019 at State Auditor Kathy McGuiness’ request.

During Delaware’s Fraud Awareness Week, which overlaps with International Fraud Awareness Week, McGuiness is encouraging state agencies and organizations to take time to increase employee awareness about fraud prevention, detection, and reporting.

“Learning how to report fraud when it occurs is one of the most important first steps,” McGuiness said. “In 2019, we developed the first app for fraud in Delaware, and community members and employees continue to be one of the greatest resources for fraud detection.”

Education and awareness of fraud prevention are essential for reducing the occurrence of fraud against and within Delaware state government. All levels of government are frequent targets of fraud attempts, and such instances undermine the good work and reputation of government employees. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), instances of fraud have exacerbated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our Fraud Hotline team has fielded and responded to thousands of calls about suspected fraud, waste and abuse,” McGuiness said. “In fact, there have been over 1,000 communications in fiscal year 2021 alone.”

To report fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars, visit fraud.delaware.gov or call the toll-free fraud hotline at 1-800-55-FRAUD.

Learn more about the Delaware State Auditor’s Office at auditor.delaware.gov.

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Contact:

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

Anna.nuzzolese@delaware.gov

302-857-3907


Auditor McGuiness Applauds Career and Technical Education Programs

DOVER, DELAWARE – Recent financial audits of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for eight of Delaware’s school districts showed all districts spent funds they received for the programs appropriately, State Auditor Kathy McGuiness said today. Cape Henlopen, Laurel, Appoquinimink, Lake Forest, Milford, New Castle County Vocational Technical School, Smyrna, and Woodbridge were randomly selected for the occupational-vocational program financial audits, as is required by Delaware code.

“I would like to congratulate all eight school districts for a job well done, and for allocating the funds for CTE programs in a way that provides maximum value to Delaware’s students,” McGuiness said. “Career and Technical Education programs play a significant role in preparing young Delawareans for the workforce, especially for occupations that are in high demand.”

The audit examined spending for Career and Technical Education programs for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

The Delaware Auditor’s Office is legislatively mandated to periodically audit CTE programs per 14 Del. C. §1706.

 

To read the Appoquinimink School District audit click here.

To read the Cape Henlopen School District audit click here.

To read the Lake Forest School District audit click here.

To read the Laurel School District audit click here.

To read the Milford School District audit click here.

To read the New Castle County Vocational Technical School audit click here.

To read the Smyrna School District audit click here.

To read the Woodbridge School District audit click here.

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

 

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Contact:

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

302-857-3907

Anna.Nuzzolese@delaware.gov 

 


Auditor McGuiness: Annual Statewide Audit Again Finds Problems With DHSS’ Medicaid Program

McGuiness to Appear in Court to Gain Access to Public Information

 

DOVER, Del. – For three years, Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) has been unable to demonstrate that it effectively screens Medicaid applicants for eligibility before approving or denying benefits, State Auditor Kathy McGuiness said today.

In releasing the 16 overall findings from Delaware’s annual Single Audit, McGuiness pointed out that five of them were repeat findings – and that all of the repeat findings involved federal programs administered by DHSS.

About the Single Audit

The State of Delaware Uniform Single Audit is performed annually. Each year, Delaware administers approximately $3.5 billion in federal assistance programs.

For fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, 14 federal programs administered by seven state agencies were examined. Included in the review were:

  • Department of Health and Social Services
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Transportation
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
  • Delaware National Guard

To read the full Single Audit report, click here.

“It is unconscionable that these failures continue to happen, especially within the Medicaid program, which serves such a vulnerable population,” McGuiness said. “Clearly, this is a problem that has existed for years – long before the COVID-19 pandemic, so that’s not a valid excuse for why these critical Medicaid reviews aren’t happening.”

Three of the five repeat findings involve DHSS’ Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance (DMMA). The three findings involved DMMA not adequately verifying Medicaid benefits, not adequately verifying Medicaid provider eligibility, and not adequately verifying Medicaid provider health and safety standards.

“After years of seeing DHSS and DMMA have the same failing results in the Single Audit, I decided to take further action,” McGuiness said. “I want to determine exactly why DMMA is not properly doing its job overseeing the spending of Medicaid dollars.

“So in May 2021, I began a separate performance audit specifically of Medicaid eligibility and how recipients were being screened for program acceptance.”

However, DHSS officials have pushed back against McGuiness’s expanded audit of the Medicaid program, refusing to provide all of the information the auditor’s team needs to be able to fully comprehend how the program works and how many people have been erroneously denied Medicaid benefits or erroneously approved for them.

“What I am seeking is access to information that ultimately results in how state tax dollars are spent on Medicaid,” McGuiness said. “Delaware Code clearly gives me the authority to do this, yet DHSS officials have refused to provide my team with full access.”

After three months of non-cooperation by DHSS officials, McGuiness exercised the subpoena power given to her under the Delaware Code to force DHSS officials to produce the requested documentation and access. DHSS’ attorneys then filed a motion to quash McGuiness’s subpoena, which a judge signed Aug. 4.

What Delaware Code says

Delaware Code Title 29 Chapter 29 lays out the State Auditor’s authority to audit all entities that expend state funds. Specifically, § 2907(a) states:

“(a) The audits shall be sufficiently comprehensive to provide, but not limited to, assurance that reasonable efforts have been made to collect all moneys due the State, that all moneys collected or received by any employee or official have been deposited to the credit of the State and that all expenditures have been legal and proper and made only for the purposes contemplated in the funding acts or other pertinent regulations.”

In addition, § 2910 lays out the auditor’s authority to subpoena documents:

“(a) In connection with other powers of the Auditor of Accounts, the Auditor shall have the power to administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents by the filing of a praecipe for a subpoena with the Prothonotary of any county of this State.

(b) A subpoena issued under this section shall be effective throughout this State.”

“Instead of complying with the subpoena, DHSS has instead decided to further waste taxpayer dollars by arguing with me on this issue,” McGuiness said. “I am seeking access to information that affects how state taxpayers’ money is being spent, which is clearly in my job description, yet DHSS wants to fight over this in court instead of simply producing the records.”

McGuiness is prepared to appear in person in Superior Court to fight for access to the DMMA records and documentation she requested four months ago. A hearing date has yet to be finalized.

“What does DHSS have to hide regarding its Medicaid program performance?” McGuiness said. “After three years of Single Audit findings, it’s obvious that DMMA could use an in-depth, outside perspective on how it could improve its operations.

“My role as the state auditor is to act as a fiscal watchdog for all Delawareans, and part of that role includes providing recommendations for greater accuracy, efficiency and economy – which is what I’d like to do here for DHSS.”

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

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Contact:       

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

302-857-3907

Anna.Nuzzolese@delaware.gov


Auditor McGuiness to Hold Town Halls on Spending of American Rescue Plan Funds

DOVER, Del. – State Auditor Kathy McGuiness said today she will hold a series of town halls focusing on Project: Gray Fox, her online resource for municipalities, counties, school districts and state agencies to securely track their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending.

“Delawareans have been asking for greater accessibility, transparency and good governance in the First State,” McGuiness said. “These town halls will allow the public to better understand how their communities will be spending their ARPA funds.”

Delaware received approximately $1.25 billion total in ARPA money. The U.S. Treasury has issued guidance for how government entities can spend the funds, but each entity – whether that’s a municipality, school district, county or state agency – ultimately decides which of the Treasury-approved spending categories to choose from.

“These town halls will provide the necessary information so that all Delawareans can be informed citizen fiscal watchdogs,” McGuiness said.

Here are the dates and times for the first set of town halls:

  • Sept. 20, 2021 (6-8 p.m) @ Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, 229 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach 
  • Sept. 29, 2021 (6-8 p.m) @ Dover High School, 1 Dover High Drive, Dover
  • Oct. 18, 2021 (6-8 p.m) @ Newark Executive Banquet and Conference Center, 205 Executive Drive, Newark
  • Oct. 25, 2021 (6-8 p.m) @ Delaware Technical Community College-Owens Campus, 21779 College Drive, Georgetown

More dates and locations will be added soon.

As state auditor, McGuiness is dedicated to identifying fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. Project: Gray Fox proactively seeks to prevent those issues by allowing for transparency and accountability as these crucial tax dollars are spent.

For more information on Project: Gray Fox, follow @DEAuditor1 on Twitter, @DEAuditor on Instagram and on Facebook at facebook.com/deauditor.

The new Project: Gray Fox section of the Auditor’s Office website can be found here or by using this QR code:

QR code for Project Gray Fox

 

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

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Contact:       

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

302-857-3907

Anna.Nuzzolese@delaware.gov