Written by Senator Charles Fuschillo Friday, 06 April 2012 00:00
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) has announced that legislation he sponsors to save taxpayer dollars through increased prosecution of Medicaid fraud has been passed by the Senate.
The legislation (S594) would allow the state’s Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) to refer Medicaid fraud cases to local district attorneys for prosecution.
“Billions of taxpayer dollars are being stolen every year through Medicaid fraud. Law enforcement needs every possible tool to recover those funds and prosecute the criminals who steal them. Allowing suspected Medicaid fraud cases to be referred to local district attorneys would lead to more prosecutions, greater enforcement, and savings for taxpayers. The Assembly should join the Senate in approving this legislation,” said Senator Fuschillo.
Under current law, county Departments of Social Services (DSS) must refer cases of suspected Medicaid fraud to the OMIG. Cases are then prosecuted by the State Attorney General’s office. Local district attorneys, who already work in conjunction with their county’s DSS and are often located only a short distance away, cannot receive referrals from OMIG to prosecute Medicaid fraud in their own county.
As an example, Nassau County DSS is authorized by OMIG to investigate cases of Medicaid provider fraud. DSS must turn over its findings to OMIG in Albany. OMIG then refers the case to Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for prosecution. The unit, which covers Nassau County, is located in Hauppauge, in Suffolk County, nearly 40 minutes away. OMIG is prohibited from referring suspected Medicaid fraud cases to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, which is located just three miles from DSS.
Under Senator Fuschillo’s legislation, OMIG could refer cases of suspected Medicaid fraud to local district attorneys for prosecution. This would create an additional enforcement tool that would help increase the number of Medicaid fraud prosecutions, saving money for both the state and individual counties. It would also free up resources at the Attorney General’s office, which could be used to prosecute additional crimes.
Medicaid is one of the state’s largest expenditures. At over $52.8 billion in the current fiscal year, Medicaid spending accounts for one-third of the entire state budget. A report issued by the Senate Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud in 2010 stated that Medicaid fraud accounts for between 3 and 10 percent of all Medicaid expenses, meaning that Medicaid fraud could be costing state taxpayers as much as $5 billion each year.
“Medicaid fraud victimizes every New Yorker, and this legislation will give district attorneys better tools to protect taxpayers and bring these scam artists to justice,” said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. “Medicaid helps the most vulnerable members of our communities receive access to essential healthcare services and I am proud to stand with Senator Fuschillo to protect this critical program from abuse.”
The legislation has been sent to the Assembly.
Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
In the aftermath of a fatal carbon monoxide leak at Legal Seafoods in Huntington, the Village of Farmingdale passed new legislation requiring all residential and commercial properties carry a carbon monoxide detector.
“The whole idea behind this is public safety,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.
On April 7, Farmingdale Trustees unanimously voted to amend village code as a proactive measure to prevent future harm from carbon monoxide poisioning.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 00:00
During a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, President Shari Bardash-Eivers addressed a controversy that had erupted among parents in the district surrounding comments that were made online about student data mining. Initially proposed as a component of New York State’s Common Core Learning Standards, data mining is used to gather information on students through a company called InBloom. However, the proposal to allow data mining through the use of InBloom was defeated by state lawmakers.
For Eivers, the controversy had come about after she had made comments on social media sites regarding parents who were opposed to student data mining. Many referred to her comments as “insensitive,” for use of the terms “paranoid” and “ignorant” whilst noting that the same parents opposed to data mining seemed to have no qualms about activities such as using Google or their credit cards online—acts which she said carry many of the same risks.
Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
The Farmingdale Devils U10 Travel Baseball team defeated the West Islip Gold team 11-6 to win the Bayport Bash baseball tournament last weekend. The Devils swept both games on Saturday to advance to the championship game. In the championship The Devils struck for four runs in the first inning. Nick Napolitano and Nick Disanti started it off with singles and were driven home by Gavin Weinstock’s 200 foot blast off the left field wall. Timmy Purack and Matt Brandimarte followed with run scoring singles and the Devils were on their way to their first title of 2014. Nicholas Napolitano pitched three solid inning for the win. The Devils will now compete in the Half Hollow Invitational Spring Tournament.
— Submitted by The Farmingdale Devils
Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
The Dalers Boys Varsity Lacrosse team (3-2) are putting their best foot forward, after losing two games this season.
On March 25, the Dalers took their home turf to face the Lynbrook Owls. During the game, the Dalers Tom McPartland and Chris Brown each scored two goals, while goalies Matt Deluca and Scott dePalmer racked up a total of 11 saves. Despite the valiant effort, the Dalers lost to Lynbrook High School 11-7.
The Dalers are currently 3-2 this season. Their next game will be held on April 17 at Long Beach.