BUFFALO, NY - In an effort to root out Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse, Erie County is creating a Medicaid Anti-Fraud Task Force.
Erie County has entered into a partnership with the New York State Department of Health and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General for a "flagship" project to rid the county of proiver 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 Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
New York State has agreed to fully fund all costs associated with the start-up and administration of the County's efforts.
Poloncarz added, "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."
The newly created task force will consist of three people: the Erie County Medicaid Inspector General, a senior investigator and a support staffer.
Poloncarz expects final approval from the Legislature on Thursday.
According to Erie County officials, Medicaid costs taxpayers more than $1 billion annually, with a local share of $211.7 million in fiscal year 2012.