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November 15, 2014

Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending November 14, 2014


Selected reports and information published by New York State's Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli during the week ending November 14, 2014
Click on text highlighted in color  to access the full report

The department performed approximately 6,000 inspections at almost 1,400 locations in calendar year 2013. Despite staffing shortages, the department does not have a backlog of safety inspections; all mandated inspections had been completed for 2013. However, the staffing shortfalls have required it to cut back on other activities or goals it also considers important to quality control and safety such as delivery vehicle inspections, plant raw and pasteurized milk sampling, and butterfat testing.


Department of Health: Unnecessary Medicaid Payments for Children at Voluntary Agencies (Follow-Up) (2014-F-5)
An initial audit report issued in September 2012 found that DOH could save millions of Medicaid dollars annually by assessing and modifying certain policies and practices that drive the costs of medical care provided to children placed at voluntary agencies. In a follow-up report, auditors found DOH has made progress in implementing the recommendations made in the initial audit report. Of the report’s five audit recommendations, three were implemented, one was partially implemented and one was not implemented.


Department of Health: Medicaid Program: Overpayments to Managed Care Organizations and Hospitals for Low Birth Weight Newborns (2013-S-57)
Medicaid made $12,378,309 in overpayments for low birth weight payments that did not meet the necessary requirements. For example, Medicaid paid one managed care organization $99,044 for a low birth weight payment based on a reported newborn birth weight of 215 grams. However, the newborn’s actual birth weight was 3,215 grams. Medicaid should have only paid the MCO $3,232. There was an additional $949,681 in potential overpayments for similar claims at high risk of not meeting the billing requirements for supplemental low birth weight claims. Medicaid paid $548,404 in duplicate fee-for-service and managed care low birth weight newborn claims. At the time the audit fieldwork concluded, auditors recovered more than $7 million of the overpayments identified.


Department of Labor: Amusement Park and Fair Ride Safety (2014-S-47)
Auditors conducted site visits at 53 locations across the state covering almost 1,000 rides and found each of the rides being operated at all of the 53 locations had been inspected and permitted as required.


Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): Driver Responsibility Assessment Program (2013-S-53)
DMV accurately assessed all program fees and either collected these fees or suspended the licenses or the privilege to obtain a license of drivers who did not pay. However, the DMV needs to improve its internal controls over manual adjustments made to the program database by ITS staff.


Metropolitan Transportation Authority: MTA-NYC Transit Medical Assessment Centers (2013-S-33)
On a unit cost basis, auditors determined that Medical Assessment Centers (MAC) run by the MTA to gauge drivers’ health and ability to do their jobs were not more costly than using a contractor that previously performed the work. Auditors also concluded that there are opportunities to attain further efficiencies in the MAC program.


New York City Department of Buildings: Outstanding Violations (Follow-Up) (2014-F-13)
An initial report, issued in December 2011, found that New York City Department of Buildings managers did not have effective systems in place to ensure hazardous violations were resolved quickly. In a follow-up, auditors found the department has made progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial report. Of the four prior recommendations, two have been implemented and two have been partially implemented.


New York State Health Insurance Program: Empire BlueCross BlueShield – Selected Payments for Special Items for the Period April 1, 2011 Through June 30, 2011 (Follow-Up) (2014-F-6)
In an initial report, auditors determined Empire did not have adequate controls to ensure special items were paid according to contract limitations. As a result, Empire made a net overpayment of $119,141 on 33 claims. In a follow-up report, auditors found Empire officials made considerable progress in implementing the recommendations made in the initial audit report. Of the three prior recommendations, two were implemented and one was partially implemented. Empire recovered the overpayments from hospitals, implemented controls to ensure payments for special items are made in accordance with hospital agreements, and made significant progress to ensure that future agreements with hospitals contain language limiting the reimbursement of special items.


Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: Vehicle and Heavy Equipment Purchase Program (Follow-Up) (2014-F-2)
An initial report issued in December 2010 found that the Port Authority generally did not follow required procedures to ensure that the acquisition of vehicles and heavy equipment was justified. In a random sample of 75 items that were purchased for $8.2 million, the Port Authority provided documentation for only two items for $192,279. In addition, the Port Authority included funds for vehicle and equipment rentals in its annual Purchase Program. Auditors also found that the car service contract amounts were excessive compared to the amount the Port Authority actually spent. In a follow-up, auditors found the Port Authority has made some progress in addressing the issues identified earlier. Of the eight prior recommendations, two were implemented, and three were partially implemented and three were not implemented.
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