State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady) announced the support of the New York State Senate for Governor George E. Pataki's plan to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Medicaid fraud in this State.
"The Senate passed a bill last May that would overhaul the State's Medicaid fraud detection effort with the goal of dramatically reducing corruption and waste, and thereby saving taxpayer money," Senator Farley said. "Unfortunately, the bill did not have any movement in the Assembly. The Governor has formulated a similar plan to create a Medicaid Inspector General who will better integrate our anti-fraud efforts and push for approval by the federal government of the State's pending request to join an existing federal Medicaid fraud detection program."
Senator Farley said the Senate's legislation for an Office of Medicaid Inspector General came from the Senate's Medicaid Reform Task Force recommendations. The task force was crated in 2003 in response to calls to reform Medicaid. "After an extensive Statewide review and inclusive hearing process, the task force issued comprehensive recommendations to ensure the Medicaid system can continue to efficiently provide quality care to those in need. We have enacted some of the reforms in order to provide financial relief for our counties, but there is more work to be done," Senator Farley said.
In federal fiscal years from 2001 to 2003, New York's current Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has recovered much less from its fraud recovery efforts than many other states. "There is much room for improvement," said Senator Farley, "and we need to take aggressive steps to eliminate fraud."