Fighting Medicaid Fraud, Just in Time

Just days before George Pataki leaves office, New York City has announced plans to participate in a state-run program to detect Medicaid fraud.

The city’s participation in the program was required as part of a federal agreement earlier this year that sent $300 million to NYC annually for health care restructuring here, and it is structured to allow the city to keep a quarter of the money recovered.

The agreement also represents a late — and lately, rare – political victory for the governor, who will be able to claim the deal as the capstone to a series of health care reforms that took place under his watch. They include putting Medicaid recipients in a more efficiently run managed healthcare system, creating the Medicaid Inspector General’s office and helping to organize the Berger Commission on hospital closings.

According to Pataki spokesman David Catalfamo, the state had been in continual negotiations with the city over the past six months in an effort to put the deal together this year.

“We didn’t stop working when the election was over and we didn’t stop working when he said he wasn’t running for re-election,” he said.

– Azi Paybarah