UPDATE: KanCare inspector general resigns amid questions

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The new acting inspector general for the state's privatized Medicaid program has abruptly resigned amid questions about his appointment and lack of confirmation by the Kansas Senate.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Sara Belfry said Phil Hermanson stepped down Friday afternoon.

Belfry said Hermanson did not provide a resignation letter. Hermanson did not immediately return a telephone message left at his Wichita home.

Hermanson began work in April, charged with identifying fraud in the state's Medicaid system known as KanCare. He has no investigatory or auditing expertise.

But his duties in the $77,000 job were limited because he hasn't been confirmed. The Legislature is out of session until next year, but a Senate committee can give the go-ahead for appointees to serve until lawmakers convene again.

Previous story:

The state's new inspector general for its privatized Medicaid program can't conduct oversight work until he is confirmed by the Kansas Senate, which isn't in session.

Phil Hermanson began work in April as inspector general, charged with identifying fraud in the state's Medicaid system known as KanCare. The former Kansas House member has no investigatory or auditing expertise, a DUI conviction and business bankruptcy, and personal finance and campaign ethics problems.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment says Hermanson is technically only "acting" inspector general until he is confirmed. Sara Belfry says he can be involved in training programs, but cannot conduct oversight work.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports an interim Senate committee could take up Hermanson's appointment, although no hearing has been set.

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