Senate GOP Medicaid Task Force Targets Waste, Fraud and Abuse; Recommendations Could Save Taxpayers $500 Million
Medicaid Fraud Task Force Chairman Kemp Hannon, Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos, and members of the Senate Republican conference released their initial report of the Senate Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud and Reform, a sweeping set of policy recommendations that will empower localities to boost their own Medicaid fraud efforts, more aggressively combat waste and the overutilization of services, and save taxpayers up to $500 million a year. The report should be discussed as part of this year’s budget negotiations.
“Medicaid fraud is possibly costing New York State taxpayers billions of dollars. It’s crucial that we act immediately to prevent this type of fraud at the state and local levels,” said Senator Hannon. “During a time when every single cent counts, we cannot afford to let the possibility of this amount of money fall through the cracks of the system through fraud and abuse. This Task Force has outlined its initial recommendations, in a very short period of time, so they can be part of budget discussions this year.”
The Task Force report released paints a chilling picture of a State Medicaid program full of abuse, costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year in unnecessary or fraudulent expenditures. Shockingly, one in five New Yorkers are currently enrolled in Medicaid.
Members of the Task Force collected testimony and background information detailing the extent of Medicaid fraud in New York, including a Brooklyn dentist who billed Medicaid for 991 procedures in a single day - - even pulling and filling all 32 teeth on one patient - - as well as a physician who prescribed $11.5 million worth of a synthetic hormone popular with bodybuilders.
Among other things, the recommendations of the Task Force would authorize the referral of all fraud cases to local district attorneys, per their request, in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to prosecute fraud, while permitting counties to keep a portion of all fraud recoveries they obtain.