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January 8, 2009

 

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Audits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the following audits have been issued:

Department of Health: Medicaid Payments to Transportation Providers While Recipients Were Hospitalized (Follow-Up Report) (2008-F-24)
If a Medicaid recipient needs medical services, but cannot get to those services, transportation must be provided to the recipient. In a prior audit (2006-S-78), auditors identified more than $4 million in payments that were potentially inappropriate because the recipients appeared to be hospitalized at the time the transportation was supposedly provided. When auditors followed up on this audit, they found department officials had made some progress in implementing the prior audit’s recommendations, but additional actions were still needed.

Department of Health: Medicaid Payments to Signature Health Center, LLC (Follow-Up Report) (2008-F-44)
In a prior audit (2006-S-59), auditors found that Signature Health Center frequently billed Medicaid for services that were covered (and reimbursed) by Medicare. As a result, providers received at least $831,000, and as much as $1,268,000, in Medicaid overpayments. Auditors followed up on this prior audit and found that the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General had engaged a series of audits of Signature Health Center and had collected more than $3.5 million in Medicaid overpayments from the center. In addition, the State Attorney General’s Office was also conducting an investigation of the center.

Department of Health: Medicaid Overpayments of Medicare Part B Deductibles (Follow-Up Report) (2008-F-45)
If an individual is eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, the individual’s eligible medical costs are to be paid by Medicare, except for a portion of the costs relating to certain services (called Part B services), which are to be paid by Medicaid. In a prior audit (2006-S-122), auditors identified an estimated $592,000 in overpayments to more than 2,000 medical providers that incorrectly billed Medicaid for Medicare Part B services. When auditors followed up on this matter, they found Department of Health officials had made progress in implementing the audit’s recommendations.

Higher Education Services Corporation - Tuition Assistance Program: Baruch College (2008-T-1)
During the 2003-2004 through 2005-2006 academic years, Baruch College certified $47.8 million in Tuition Assistance Program awards. Auditors disallowed $1,340,496 of these awards as well as $3,950 for awards that related to other academic years. The total $1.3 million was disallowed because students were incorrectly certified as eligible for the awards. For example, some students received awards even though they did not maintain good academic standing.

Higher Education Services Corporation - Tuition Assistance Program: Molloy College (2007-T-4)
During the 2003-2004 through 2005-2006 academic years, Molloy College certified $7.6 million in Tuition Assistance Program awards. Auditors disallowed $434,363 of these awards as well as $32,268 for awards that related to other academic years. The total $466,631 was disallowed because students were incorrectly certified as eligible for the awards. For example, some students received awards even though they were not in full-time attendance or did not maintain good academic standing.

Higher Education Services Corporation - Tuition Assistance Program: Touro College (2007-T-3)
During the 2003-2004 through 2005-2006 academic years, Touro College certified $54.4 million in Tuition Assistance Program awards. Auditors disallowed $3,304,147 of these awards as well as $15,770 for awards that related to other academic years. The total $3.3 million was disallowed because students were incorrectly certified as eligible for the awards. For example, some students received awards even though they did not meet matriculation requirements.

New York City Department of Buildings Elevator Inspections and Tests (2007-N-9)
Elevators in New York City have to be inspected at least three times every two years and tested at least once a year. Most of the inspections are performed by inspectors from the New York City Department of Buildings and private inspectors contracted by the department. Auditors examined the inspections and tests that were performed on a random sample of 50 elevators. Auditors found 28 of the inspections and tests were performed late, seven were performed by inspectors who did not meet certain qualification requirements, and 19 were not properly documented. In addition, department records confirmed that only 11 of the 50 inspectors in our random sample met all their qualification requirements.

Department of Transportation: Compliance with Executive Order 111 Requirements to Purchase Power from Renewable Energy Sources (2008-S-83)
Executive Order 111 requires all state agencies to purchase a certain portion of their electricity from renewable sources (at least 10 percent by 2005 and 20 percent by 2010). Auditors found the Department of Transportation was purchasing some of its power from renewable sources, but not enough to meet the 10 percent target. Auditors also found that the department had not developed a way to meet the 20 percent target.

Government Accountability
The Office of the State Comptroller regularly audits state agencies, public authorities and New York City agencies. Auditors ensure that programs achieve their established goals, funds are used efficiently and assets are adequately protected against fraud, waste and abuse. DiNapoli’s office completes approximately 200 state audits and annually identifies hundreds of millions in savings and fraud each year.


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