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Greene promises new war on Medicaid fraud

Jan 25, 2011 6:49 am
When the money gets tight, Greene County has a history of going after those who might be scamming it for aid. The Daily Mail reports that Greene County has established a compliance board to review potential hiccups in its Medicaid system and try to cut down on what it sees as Medicaid abuse and waste that may be costing the county tens of thousands of dollars every day. The board will work to oversee public health care providers at the county level, hoping to make an impact on the billions lost to Medicaid fraud, abuse and waste statewide. Back in the 1990s, when war was declared on welfare as we knew it then, the county started regularly publicizing arrests made for any amount of welfare fraud, from a few hundred dollars worth of extra food stamps on up.

The new board, approved last week, will meet a minimum of twice a year to review the work of the county’s health care providers, the Greene County Center for Behavioral Wellness and Greene County Public Health Nursing Service. Legislator Joseph Izzo, R-Catskill, will chair the county’s compliance board, which will constitute members of the legislature’s health committee: Legislators William Lawrence, R-Cairo, Kevin Lewis, R-Greenville, Chris Pfister, D-Athens, and Sean Frey, D-Durham.

Locally, Greene County pays $153,049 each week to New York State for Medicaid treatments, said Greene County Department of Social Services Commissioner Kira Pospesel. That weekly payment is expected to climb to $157,931 beginning in March 2011, she said, and will escalate further after federal aid disappears.

Most Medicaid "fraud," state officials say, can actually be attributed to bookkeeping errors and other things.
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