Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health care and social services to nutritionally at-risk low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children through age 4. Periodically, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) performs a nationally representative study to examine the extent of error and program violations among food vendors authorized to accept WIC food instruments. The 2005 WIC Vendor Management Study found that overcharges amounted to $6.1 million, while undercharges amounted to $15.4 million. In terms of the $3.32 billion paid by WIC for food in that year, overcharges amounted to 0.18 percent, and undercharges amounted to 0.46 percent. This report provides improper payment estimates for fiscal year (FY) 2011 using a methodology for “aging” the 2005 bookend study. The methodology yields nationally representative estimates of the number of vendors that over- and undercharged and the amount of over- and undercharges across all WIC vendors.