NEW YORK - The state attorney general's office recovered more than $335 million in 2012 that had been improperly claimed through fraud or abuse in the Medicaid system.
It was the second highest annual recovery total ever by the attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the highest recovery in seven years.
"Part of my first major initiative when I took office was to bolster the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with additional prosecutors, investigators, and auditors, in order to even more aggressively root out fraud and return money illegally stolen from New York taxpayers and their government," said Eric T. Schneiderman, state attorney general. "That initiative has paid off with record recoveries for taxpayers this year. My office's Medicaid Fraud team will keep working hard to root out fraud wherever it exists, and protect the integrity of the Medicaid program for those who truly need it."
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit also shut down schemes to illegally obtain prescription drugs through Medicaid and distribute them on the street for profit. The head of one prescription drug ring in the Bronx and another on Staten Island received prison sentences. In addition, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit targeted providers that billed for unnecessary services or unnecessary visits to perform services that could have been rendered in a single visit; providers that referred patients to unlicensed facilities in exchange for kickbacks; unlicensed healthcare workers; and black market drug sellers that diverted prescription medications of unknown origin, re-packaging and re-selling them to pharmacies.
"The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit does an outstanding job, not only protecting taxpayers, but protecting patients from fraudulent practices that endangered their safety," Schneiderman said. "I know this unit will continue to be vigilant in the coming year and send the message that fraud and abuse that endangers patients and rips off taxpayers will not be tolerated in our state."