Acting State Comptroller Kevin Walsh Testifies Before Legislature on Nursing Home Bill
Read Walsh’s testimony about the bill, which would require more financial disclosures from nursing homes.
On Monday, February 13, 2023, Acting State Comptroller Kevin Walsh testified before the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee about Bill S2769, which revises reporting requirements for nursing homes concerning financial disclosures and ownership structure.
Under the bill, nursing homes and operators would be required to submit additional financial disclosures and ownership information. Their filings would be submitted to the Office of the State Comptroller, as well as the Department of Health. OSC would review the financial disclosures as part of its mission to weed out fraud, waste, and abuse. In his February 13, 2023 testimony, Walsh discussed the Office of the State Comptroller’s oversight for nursing homes receiving Medicaid funds.
Below are excerpts of his testimony. They have been lightly edited.
It is an honor to appear before your committee to share some thoughts on 2769. For more than a decade, the Office of the State Comptroller has been focused on accountability and transparency in government.
We find the facts; we interview people and review documents; then as best we can, we share what we find with the public, the administration and legislative leadership. We do so with the hope of providing dialogue, advancing democracy, and, overall, holding government accountable.
Much of the work we do, beyond the broad oversight of the executive branch, focuses on overseeing the Medicaid program, the providers, and the state agencies involved with Medicaid. We do that in order to provide transparency through our audits and investigations.
We welcome the chance to be involved in this important transparency effort and accountability effort, with S2769. We’re already doing a lot of this work. We’ve developed an expertise through our oversight of Medicaid providers -- through the disciplines of audit and investigations, with an awesome team that analyzes data, and attorneys who have expertise in pursuing recoveries when there have been overpayments. We are ready to contribute here.
I am confident that we would be able to jump in and analyze the data, synthesize it, and when appropriate, make referrals to law enforcement when there is fraud. Part of what S2769 authorizes us to do is, in collaboration with the Department of Health, issue rules and regulations, and because the issuance of rules and regulations can take a long time to prepare, we can issue notices beforehand. It would be beneficial to hear from some of the folks who have testified before the committee to make sure that the process is not onerous but is effective in providing the level of transparency that this committee, the legislature, and the public is entitled to see, given it is a nearly $2 billion a year program.
Listen to a recording of Walsh's testimony.
Read OSC's February 2022 report on the lowest-rated nursing homes receiving Medicaid funds.
Waste or Abuse
Waste or Abuse