Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) announced today that legislation he cosponsored to save taxpayers billions in Medicaid costs by creating a State Office of Medicaid Inspector General has been signed into law by Governor George Pataki.
"Medicaid fraud is costing the taxpayers of this state billions of dollars each year and taking resources away from those who truly need them," said Senator Fuschillo. "We need to step up efforts to prevent fraud, uncover abuses within system, and recover money that is being used improperly. The creation of this new Office of Medicaid Inspector General will greatly enhance these efforts, which will result in substantial savings to local residents."
Over $45 billion is being spent this year on New York State’s Medicaid program. The federal government’s General Accounting Office estimates that as much as 10 percent of Medicaid expenditures are lost to fraud, meaning that New York State could be losing a much as $4.5 billion in through waste, fraud, and abuse within the Medicaid system. In addition, an investigation conducted by the New York Times included an estimate that up to 40% of all Medicaid claims in New York State were "questionable", which would amount to approximately $18 billion a year.
The new law creates an Office of Medicaid Inspector General, which will be responsible solely for preventing, uncovering, and investigating Medicaid fraud in New York State. The Office will also lead efforts to recover Medicaid funds that are improperly spent.
Before the creation of this new office, several different agencies were responsible for administering and overseeing the Medicaid program. The tasks performed by these agencies will now be consolidated and centralized under the new Office of Medicaid Inspector General, which will greatly enhance the State’s ability to root out Medicaid fraud and recover funds.
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