Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner said at a recent press conference that a 10-percent reduction in the Medicaid error rate would save Pennsylvania $436 million in fiscal year 2011-12 and a projected $1.9 billion over the next four fiscal years.

Wagner said his department has completed audits at all of the commonwealth’s county assistance offices and found an average error rate of 15.5 percent. Auditors found error rates exceeding 40 percent in seven counties.

“With Pennsylvania facing a projected $5 billion budget deficit in fiscal year 2011-12, we must eliminate this wasteful spending,” Wagner said in a statement. “These errors can and should be corrected, which would result in a significant sustainable savings to Pennsylvania taxpayers while ensuring that those entitled to the benefits continue to be served.”

This budget-savings suggestion follows Wagner’s previous proposals to fix the flawed funding formula for charter and cyber-charter schools and to offer a commonwealth-wide voluntary retirement incentive program.

Wagner’s auditors found errors in 2,141 of 13,789, or 15.5 percent, of Medicaid cases selected randomly from the 595,046 total cases at the commonwealth’s county assistance offices in all 67 counties.