Human Services Department inspector general set to retire after rooting out fraud, recovering millions
Glen Stubbe, Star TribuneDHS Inspector General Jerry Kerber, displayed in 2012.
Jerry Kerber, a steadfast public servant who recovered tens of countless dollars for taxpayers while punishing fraud in Minnesota’s health and welfare programs, is retiring this month after 38 years in state federal government.
Understood for his unrelenting energy and no-nonsense approach, Kerber, 61, was extensively credited with changing a drowsy scams and abuse division at the Department of Human being Services (DHS) into an aggressive, high-profile unit. He affirmed at the State Capitol regularly on the countless dollars in Medicaid overpayments his unit had recuperated from illicit companies, and the Legislature reacted by considerably broadening his personnel.
Kerber took over 5 years back as the very first inspector general at DHS, a huge state firm with an $18 billion annual budget plan. He quickly sped up investigations of maltreatment at facilities that serve almost 300,000 of Minnesota’s most susceptible citizens, broadened oversight of healthcare suppliers that get public funds, and took actions that drastically cut infant deaths at home-based child care service providers, amongst other accomplishments.
” Exactly what can be more satisfying than being part of a team that is devoted to assuring that kids and susceptible adults are safe– and that they are getting the services they require, that we pay for, and that are supplied by the ideal individuals,” Kerber wrote in a note last week to personnel.
His last day as inspector general will be Oct. 18. The firm has not picked a replacement.
Given that late 2014, Kerber’s workplace has conducted hundreds of unannounced, on-site screenings of Medicaid physicians and centers and has started fingerprint background checks on tens of thousands of healthcare and social service workers statewide. Once criticized as soft on scams, DHS has more than doubled the sums recovered from deceitful overbillings of Medical Support, the state’s openly funded health insurance, given that 2011. All told, the DHS inspector general has actually recuperated $69 million in Medical Assistance overpayments under Kerber’s period, and has actually completed 3,200 examinations into inappropriate billing.
In addition, Kerber created better ties with federal law enforcement officials as part of a continual examination into deceptive billings in the state’s childcare help program for poor households. Investigators have since exposed multiple plans, reaching into the countless dollars, where childcare service providers exploited bad parents to acquire more state payments.
Still, in an interview Thursday, Kerber insisted, “We’re not almost catching people.” His workplace likewise made internal advances, such as enhancing the speed and accuracy of background checks to prevent crooks from getting certified and billing public health programs. The state, for instance, can now immediately discover when a house care assistant costs the state for more than 24 Hr of service in a day.
” Things remain in great shape here,” Kerber said. “The supreme decision that individuals make about when to retire ends up being a mix of work-related and personal life requirements. This just appeared to be the correct time.”
Kerber began his state profession in 1978 working with kids experiencing emotional disruptions in what was then the Brainerd State Healthcare facility. He then operated in psychological health treatment at the state prison in Stillwater and the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center, prior to moving in 1988 to the licensing division at DHS, where he ended up being director. He was appointed DHS inspector general in August 2011, when the workplace was created; the unit has actually because nearly doubled, to about 225 staff members.
” Jerry brought a massive amount of enthusiasm to the task every day, and never lost sight of that licensing has to do with the individuals being taken care of,” said Anne Barry, former deputy DHS commissioner who dealt with Kerber for 25 years. “It breaks my heart to see him leave.”
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