Senator Fuschillo Appointed to New Medicaid Fraud Task Force

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

February 02, 2010

Task Force Will Examine How New York State Can Better Prevent Taxpayer Dollars from Being Lost to Medicaid Fraud 

            New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) was today appointed to a new task force on Medicaid Fraud, a problem which drives up costs on state and local governments. 

            “Far too many tax dollars are being lost to Medicaid Fraud. At a time when every dollar counts, New York State needs to do a better job in aggressively preventing this type of abuse and recovering those funds that are taken by criminals. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the panel to find ways that New York State can improve how it combats Medicaid Fraud and ensure that the only people who get Medicaid dollars are the ones who truly need them,” said Senator Fuschillo.           

            The Medicaid Fraud task force, which will be chaired by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), will examine ways that the state can improve its efforts to combat Medicaid Fraud. The task force will hold public hearings and issue recommendations on what steps the state needs to take to better protect taxpayer dollars in the Medicaid program. 

            The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that as much as 10 percent of Medicaid expenses are diverted through fraud.  Governor Paterson’s proposed state budget calls for spending a total of more than $51 billion on Medicaid, meaning as much as $5 billion could be fraud in the system. 

            A report issued last month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ranks New York 26th in the nation in Medicaid fraud recovery, based on the number of fraud dollars recovered per federal Medicaid dollar spent.  According to the report, states such as Missouri and North Carolina recover about three times as much in Medicaid fraud, while six other states recover twice as much as New York.