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Gov. Cuomo reports $851 million of taxpayers money recovered from Medicaid abusers

Dana Gethers | 2/8/2014, 10:56 a.m.

New York is reportedly leading the nation in Medicaid recoveries after Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed that the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) recovered over $851 million of taxpayers’ money in 2013.

It was discovered that many Medicare providers were over charging Medicaid users, billing them for services that they were not entitled to or did not require. This increase in recoveries brings the total recovery under Gov. Cuomo to $1.73 billion.

In a report released by the governor’s office, Cuomo is reported as saying, “with more than $851 million recovered from Medicaid abuses in 2013 alone – the most in the State’s history – New York is truly leading the nation in fighting fraud and protecting taxpayer dollars.”

OMIG Medicaid Inspector General James C. Cox remarks that “fighting Medicaid fraud is a cornerstone of our efforts, and anyone who steals from Medicaid should know that we will find them. OMIG is proud of this record result.”

According to the report, Cuomo and his administration hope to continue to prevent or uncover financial fraud in the city by “eliminating or preventing fraud, waste, and abuse, particularly in the Medicaid program.”

This report follows the revelation in December 2013 that dozens of Russian diplomats lied about their incomes to get the U.S government to pay their healthcare bills, while they lived luxuriously. USA Today reported that some diplomats were discovered to have purchased tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise in New York City stores while utilizing health care funds meant for the poor, costing Medicaid a total of $1.5 million between 2004 and 2013.

Cuomo insists that “eliminating this kind of waste is vital to transforming New York’s healthcare system, and this year’s tremendous amount of recoveries shows that we are well on our way to building a healthier and fairer New York.”

Help OMIG fight fraud in New York City by reporting any potentially suspicious behavior by calling the fraud hotline at 1-877-87-FRAUD or visit www.omig.ny.gov.