Combating Medicaid Fraud in New York State

James L. Seward

March 17, 2010

ALBANY, 03/17/10 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) today joined senate colleagues in announcing results of a preliminary report on Medicaid fraud in New York along with specific proposals to save half a billion dollars in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

“New York’s Medicaid program is immense and  is full of opportunities for fraud, waste and abuse,” said Senator Seward.  “At a time when the state’s economy is reeling, we must shore up the system and crack down on those who are ripping off the state, and in turn taking money out of honest taxpayers’ pockets.”

A specially formed Senate Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud held several public hearings over the past month and worked with county district attorneys, county executives and other experts to devise a list of recommendations.  Among them:

 Substitute less expensive generic drugs for name brands when possible;
 Allow local district attorneys to prosecute Medicaid fraud cases;
 Reinstate the use of finger imaging, face to face interviews and asset/resource tests to determine eligibility;
 Allow counties access to the state Medicaid data warehouse to uncover billing patterns that may suggest fraud or the overutilization of services;
 Empower counties to recover and keep tax dollars lost to Medicaid fraud and waste.