Health Law Blog

Auditing the Auditors, Part II: New York State Senate Republicans Request Independent Audit of the OMIG

As a result of a recent Congressional report on New York State’s Medicaid program, the Legislative Gazette has reported that Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos and New York State Senate’s Republican Conference have called for an independent audit of the New York State Medicaid program. A Congressional panel had requested that federal auditors review New York State’s $54 billion Medicaid spending and fraud, waste and abuse oversight programs.

A previous post on this blog, reported that the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a report entitled “Billions of Federal Tax Dollars Misspent on New York’s Medicaid Program.”  Among its conclusions are that fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement has permeated the New York State Medicaid program for decades; that New York must crack down on wealthy individuals posing as indigent patients, as well as on allegedly excessive salaries paid to health care executives; and that New York overcharged the federal government $15 billion on its developmentally disabled patient facilities and that the state must repay an appropriate amount of the funds.

The report also questioned the operations of the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG), which is tasked with investigating and auditing the misspending of taxpayer funds. Congressional officials said either the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) or the Government Accounting Office (GAO) must send auditors to New York to review the OMIG and various Medicaid programs.

Senator Dean Skelos said that “An immediate, independent audit of the entire state Medicaid system is imperative” and also that “These are serious allegations against OMIG.”

Recently, current and past employees of the OMIG have publicly criticized the OMIG and alleged that the office is performing poorly and that its staff suffers from low morale.

For more information, please contact the author, David R. Ross, who served as Acting Medicaid Inspector General under governors Pataki and Spitzer, as well as General Counsel, Deputy Medicaid Inspector General, and Director of Audits and Investigations for the OMIG.

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