Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has announced the formation of an anti-fraud task force to deal with Medicaid fraud.
Erie County will be the flagship of the State’s revamped Demonstration Project process and become the largest municipality outside of New York City to partner with the State on stamping out provider waste and abuse.
“While Medicaid represents the single largest cost to Erie County, at more than $211 million this year alone, prior administrations have failed to take significant action to help reduce this burden on local taxpayers,” said Poloncarz. “As Comptroller, I have advocated for the County to take advantage of the resources available to us to aggressively investigate the Medicaid program. Now as County Executive, I am taking action and creating an Erie County Medicaid Anti-Fraud Task Force that’s sole purpose will be to root out the provider-level waste, fraud and abuse that inherently exist within Medicaid.”
“This task force will serve as a strong deterrent against local providers’ taking advantage of the system and, in instances when we identify waste, fraud or abuse, we now will have the ability to actually recover improper or illegal payments made to these providers. Best yet, through a strong cooperative effort with NYSDoH and OMIG, the startup and administration of this task force will be fully funded by New York State and will not require any county share,” adds Poloncarz.
Initially, the task force will be comprised of three people, the Erie County Medicaid Inspector General, a senior investigator and a support staffer, and will utilize the latest data-mining and investigatory tools. This unit will serve to lower and help contain costs through the active investigation and auditing of Medicaid providers and the subsequent recovery of illegally obtained Medicaid funds. Additionally, the public presence of the unit will act as a strong deterrent to future waste, fraud and abuse by providers.