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Harckham, Paulin and Treatment Providers Blast Unfair, Punitive Medicaid Auditing Practices

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Albany, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham and Assemblymember Amy Paulin, along with other legislators and behavioral health care, spoke in unison at a special press conference in the State Capitol today, calling for the FY2024-2025 State Budget to include a meaningful reform of current practices utilized by the NYS Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) when it audits healthcare agencies that provide essential services to New Yorkers with Medicaid insurance.

A new OMIG reform bill (S.5329D / A.6813), introduced by Harckham and Paulin, seeks to rectify tactics used during Medicaid audits conducted by the OMIG that are needlessly punitive and, ultimately, ineffective in preventing fraud and abuse in the healthcare system. These audits take time and resources away from healthcare and mental hygiene agencies providing essential services to New Yorkers with Medicaid insurance.

“New York patients cannot afford to lose any more behavioral health providers, especially over unintentional administrative errors,” said Harckham. “The senseless undermining of Substance Use Disorder programs in the middle of an opioid epidemic needs to stop. Let’s not lose sight that these programs save lives, so regulatory efforts should be in line with supporting and improving services, not harming them.”

“The role of the NYS Office of the Medicaid Inspector General is to root out fraud and abuse,” said Paulin. “However, this should not mean that OMIG should have the ability to wipe out entire programs and services based on technical errors, state system issues, or minor discrepancies, especially when the service was delivered appropriately. This practice is crippling and risks the continued viability of New York’s safety net system. I urge the Legislature to include the provisions of our bill in the budget to protect our health care providers and safeguard OMIG’s role in ensuring Medicaid’s integrity.”

Current OMIG audit practices include application of extrapolation to clerical errors, which has resulted in disproportionate findings and enormous fines that can shut down an entire program or impact a Medicaid provider. This practice has been devastating to providers and risks the continued viability of New York’s safety net system. 

               Clerical errors result in care providers being punished and financially crippled.  

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Government

FBI Warning of Potential Attack County & Towns, Law Enforcement On Alert

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New City, NY – The County of Rockland, along with towns and law enforcement, are on alert following an FBI warning made Thursday to the House of Representatives. During that panel, FBI Bureau Director Christopher Wray said he was increasingly concerned about “the potential for a coordinated attack here [United States] in the homeland, akin to the Isis-K attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall just a couple weeks ago.”

“As I look back over my career in law enforcement, I would be hard-pressed to think of a time where so many threats to our public safety and national security were so elevated all at once. But that is the case as I sit here today,” said Wray.

Back in March, 144 people were killed and over 500 injured when four armed gunman stormed a Russian concert hall and open fired before setting fire to the building. The Islamic State group took responsibility for what is the deadliest attack in Russia in two decades.

The County of Rockland along with its municipal partners are on alert following the FBI Warning and urge residents who see something to say something.

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Government

Rockland County District Attorney’s Office Held a Senior Scam Presentation At Atria New City

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Chief Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frawley, Executive Assistant District Attorney Nabeela McLeod, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Joseph Santangelo had the opportunity to meet with seniors from Atria in New City to discuss how to identify a scam call, the most recent scams that are targeting senior citizens, and the best ways to protect yourself and loved ones from scams.
This is an ongoing initiative for District Attorney Tom Walsh and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, and we will continue to attend and host these informative presentations across Rockland County.

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