Task Force recommends new efforts to end Medicaid fraud


    Albany, NY – The State Senate Task Force on Medicaid Fraud has released an initial report of policy recommendations to empower localities to strengthen their Medicaid fraud prevention, combat waste and stop overutilization of services.  

    The Task Force recommendations include:
    • Reinstating face-to-face interviews, finger imaging and asset tests for Medicaid eligibility determinations through local Department of Social Services Fraud Unit
    • Authorizing the referral of fraud and abuse cases to District Attorneys
    • Permitting counties to keep a portion of fraud recoveries
    • Allowing elected comptrollers, treasurers or other appointed officials to audit
    • Ensuring generic drugs are properly dispensed when the doctor does not specify a brand name

    “Medicaid fraud is like Pacman eating everything in sight, costing taxpayers almost $5 billion this year alone,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.  “Referring fraud cases to district attorneys for prosecution, allowing counties to keep a portion of fraud recoveries and reinstating eligibility requirements will decrease taxpayer dollars diverted to Medicaid fraud.  The Task Force’s proposals should be included in the 2010-2011 State Budget to save taxpayer dollars and close the deficit.” 

    Medicaid program expenditures in New York are almost $52 billion per year.  The State spends 70 percent more than the national average.  Currently, one in five New Yorkers is enrolled in Medicaid. 

    The Task Force recommendations are a direct response to the many documented cases of Medicaid fraud and abuse.  A Brooklyn dentist billed Medicaid for 991 procedures in one day, even pulling and filling all 32 teeth on a patient. A woman claimed $60,000 in Medicaid benefits even though she had $400,000 in the bank and several luxury cars.

    Senator Ranzenhofer has been serving in the State Senate since 2009.  He represents the 61st District which includes part of the city of Tonawanda, the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, Newstead and Tonawanda in Erie County and all of Genesee County.