Cuomo's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Named Best In The Country By United States Department Of Health And Human Services

NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 6, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (NYMFCU) has been selected as the top Medicaid fraud control unit in the country by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) for 2008.

According to NYMFCU’s 2008 Annual Report, released last week by Attorney General Cuomo, the Unit obtained nearly 150 convictions last year in cases of Medicaid provider fraud and patient abuse, recovering over $263 million in civil damages and criminal restitution. In HHS-OIG’s announcement of the honor, which is being awarded to NYMFCU for the first time ever during the more than thirty years the unit has been in existence, HHS-OIG noted that the NYMFCU obtained a “return of investment of approximately $6.64 for every Federal dollar expended.”

The NYMFCU will receive the award on June 2, 2009, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“Attacking Medicaid fraud has always been a key part of guaranteeing that taxpayer dollars are protected and carefully spent on an efficient, effective healthcare system,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “In the current economic crisis, this mission of preventing fraud, waste, and abuse in our Medicaid system has become more essential than ever. Recognizing that, we have taken many steps - like deploying innovative new technologies in our investigations and hiring top attorneys in the field - all in an effort to ensure that patients and taxpayers are protected. We are honored to have these efforts recognized nationally and we are committed to remaining at the forefront of Medicaid fraud control.”

HHS-OIG stated: “New York MFCU clearly demonstrated its outstanding ability to effectively and efficiently detect, investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud and patient abuse and neglect in the State throughout the grant award year.”

HHS-OIG also said: “The New York MFCU's statistical and monetary recovery achievements, in Fiscal Year 2008, were outstanding and are deserving of special recognition.”

Attorney General Cuomo last week released the New York State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s 2008 Annual Report, which he submitted to the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The report highlights the Unit’s activities and major cases during 2008, and includes data regarding the 143 convictions the Unit obtained, the highest number in the last five years, and settlements and court orders the Unit secured, requiring the payment of $263.5 million in civil damages and criminal restitution, surpassing the $113.8 million achieved in 2007 and $59.3 million in 2006.

NYMFCU is the largest unit within the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the New York State Attorney General. It is dedicated exclusively to the investigation and prosecution of Medicaid fraud and patient abuse and neglect, and served as the federal statutory model for the creation of the national Medicaid fraud control unit program.

Under the federal legislation that created the Medicaid fraud control unit program in 1978, the federal government funds 75 percent of Medicaid fraud control units’ budgets and states fund 25 percent. The HHS-OIG administers the federal grant funds and oversees the nation’s 50 Medicaid fraud control units. The NYMFCU’s own monetary recoveries fund New York State’s share of the NYMFCU’s budget, with the remainder of the money returned to the New York State Department of Health’s Medicaid budget.

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