According to a state government computer, Michigan could have a menstruating man on birth control pulls who can undergo open heart surgery at home.
That possibility has both the computer and the state's welfare officials in trouble with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, which pays $9 million year for the state computer designed to detect Medicaid fraud.
Investigators filed dummy claims for contraceptives and treatment of menstrual problems for men, open heart surgery in homes, and dental work for toothless babies. The computer did not block payment of the claims.
The annual federal subsidy may be withheld until state officials correct the computer's deficiencies.
Similar problems were detected in computer operations in Washington and Ohio. In all, 17 states use the computer program that failed the test in Michigan. No estimate of fraud losses was issued.
"The states should be reimbursed for performance, not for merely having an approved system," the General Accounting Office said in a report to a Senate subcommittee.
But Paul Allen of the state's Department of Social Services answered that an adequate number of fraud cases are being detected by the computer. He rejected suggestions for tougher claims procedures.