A state audit released today found that the state could save up to $20 million a year if the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision applied for federal Medicaid coverage for eligible inmates who need inpatient care. Medicaid, a health-care system for the poor and disabled, costs more than $1 billion a week in New York. It is funded by the federal, state and local governments in New York.
The Department of Correction and Community Supervision paid more than $89 million to outside health-care providers for inpatient services between March 31, 2008 and March 31, 2010. The audit cited a report by North Carolina’s state auditor that said five states — Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Washington — currently bill Medicaid for this type of care.
“With state tax revenues lagging projections and the costs of Hurricane Sandy mounting, every state agency should be doing what it can to find additional revenue and cut costs,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement. “DOCCS should seek reimbursement from Medicaid and other outside insurance providers for any money to which the state may be entitled.”
DiNapoli’s auditors determined that the Department of Correction and Community Supervision overpaid five providers a total of $84,100 in connection with a sample of 141 claims. Time billed for hourly clinics exceeded the hours worked, and the overpayments ranged from $624 to $73,347. Following receipt of the audit, DOCCS reviewed claims for one provider going back to 2005 and found another $50,769 in overcharges. The agency also identified two other providers that overcharged the state.
DOCCS also paid claims from two providers for procedures that were billed twice.
DiNapoli recommended that DOCCS recover the overpayments and test samples of future payments to determine if the state needs to recover overpayments.
Di Napoli DOCCs Audit