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Mangano Recovers Thousands In Medicaid Fraud For Taxpayers

The First Provider Fraud Restitution to any New York County

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) has made its first Medicaid restitution payment to Nassau County in the amount of $46,524.31 as a result of the Department of Social Services (DSS) provider fraud investigations.

“This is the first time that a New York county has shared in restitution resulting from Medicaid provider fraud - as opposed to consumer fraud - prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Attorney General’s Office. These funds are the direct result of arrests and prosecution of fraud perpetrated by Medicaid home healthcare aides and pursued for investigation by our DSS Investigation Unit,” said County Executive Mangano.

“DSS conducts investigations into the activities of Medicaid providers and refers the findings to the OMIG which in turn makes a referral to the Fraud Control Unit for criminal prosecution. A law passed in 2006 requires that a local county share up to 15% of any restitution resulting from these types of referrals. Overall, more than $300,000 was recovered by the MFCU as a result of Nassau County investigations alone, and those funds are split between Nassau County, NYS and the Federal government,” said DSS Commissioner John Imhof.

According to DSS Director of Investigations Scott Skrynecki, “The typical scheme is for a home health care aide to sign on-duty but not report to work when the aide is supposed to be providing essential medical and special-needs care to Medicaid recipients who cannot care for themselves. DSS continues to actively investigate this activity and more restitution will be collected in the future.”

In one particular case, DSS investigators followed a home healthcare aide to Jones Beach and observed her surfing for hours while she was being paid to provide care for an adult woman with developmental disabilities.

“Nassau County has been a statewide leader when it comes to Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse. Since the beginning of the MPFC Project, Nassau County has been aggressively investigating Medicaid provider fraud, especially in the area of home health care. The individuals responsible for this criminal activity shirked their responsibility to provide vital health care for less fortunate residents of Nassau County, putting their lives in danger and stealing money from hard working taxpayers. This is another example of the good work that my administration has done to stamp out Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse and return this stolen money to our taxpayers,” said Mangano.

To report suspicions of waste, fraud or abuse, call 1-877-711-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Welfare/index.html. All calls are completely confidential and callers can remain anonymous.