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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Department of Health
Medicaid Program: Claims Processing Activity
October 1, 2018 Through March 31, 2019


Issued: September 27, 2019
Link to full audit report 2018-S-55

Objective
To determine whether the Department of Health’s eMedNY system reasonably ensured that Medicaid claims were submitted by approved providers, were processed in accordance with Medicaid requirements, and resulted in correct payments to the providers. The audit covered the period October 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019.

About the Program
The Department of Health (Department) administers the State’s Medicaid program. The Department’s eMedNY computer system processes Medicaid claims submitted by providers for services rendered to Medicaid-eligible recipients, and it generates payments to reimburse the providers for their claims. During the six-month period ended March 31, 2019, eMedNY processed over 142 million claims, resulting in payments to providers of more than $36 billion. The claims are processed and paid in weekly cycles, which averaged about 5.5 million claims and $1.4 billion in payments to providers.

Key Findings

The audit identified over $5.7 million in Medicaid payments that require the Department’s prompt attention, as follows:

  • $1.9 million was paid for inpatient claims that were billed at a higher level of care than what was actually provided;
  • $1.4 million was paid for newborn birth claims that contained inaccurate birth information, such as the newborn’s birth weight;
  • $1 million was paid for practitioner, pharmacy, inpatient, lab, and clinic claims that did not comply with Medicaid policies;
  • $852,295 was paid for claims that were billed with incorrect information pertaining to other health insurance coverage that recipients had;
  • $278,850 was paid for psychiatric claims that were billed in excess of permitted limits;
  • $215,673 was paid for episodic home health care claims that did not comply with Medicaid policies; and
  • $32,326 in costs were avoided due to an averted overpayment of a provider refund.

By the end of the audit fieldwork, about $3.9 million of the improper payments had been recovered.

Auditors also identified 29 Medicaid providers who were charged with or found guilty of crimes that violated laws or regulations governing certain health care programs. By the end of the audit fieldwork, the Department removed 22 of the providers from the Medicaid program, entered into settlements with 6 providers, and was determining the program status of 1 remaining provider.

Key Recommendations

  • We made 10 recommendations to the Department to recover the remaining inappropriate Medicaid payments and improve claims processing controls.

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Andrea Inman
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236