Medicaid Billing Errors Cutting $92 Million Out of State Coffers

Also, we're running out of doctors.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says New York has lost $92 million in Medicaid billing errors and waste at a time when New York can ill afford it.

He says his auditors found the state Department of Health improperly paid more than $53 million for recipients who had multiple Medicaid identification numbers.

Auditors also prevented payment of more than $20 million on claims that were either incorrect or not properly handled in the health department's claims processing system.

Also among the audits released Tuesday was a finding that more than $1 million was paid for incorrect neonatal claims and transportation.

DiNapoli says he referred the problems to the office of the state Medicaid Inspector General.

Medicaid is New York's most expensive program.

Meanwhile, a survey released Tuesday finds that New York State is in the midst of a worsening physician shortage.

 The results of the Healthcare Association of New York State's 2009 Physician Advocacy Survey are available in a report titled, The Doctor Can't See You Now, on HANYS' Web site at

 "The shortage of physicians, nurses, and other health care workers continues to threaten access to care, and no health care reform effort can succeed without enough caregivers to provide needed care," commented HANYS' President Daniel Sisto.

The survey shows persistent physician shortages, with recruitment barely able to offset retirements, and a severe lack of physicians in primary care and specialties such as obstetrics/gynecology, general surgery, and psychiatry.  Survey respondents reported a current need for more than 1,300 physicians.

Adding to the alarm of the survey results is New York's aging physician population.  According to AAMC, New York ranks second in the number of physicians over age 60. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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