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December 16, 2017

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued the following audits and examinations during the week ending December 15, 2017


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued the following audits and examinations during the week ending December 15, 2017

Click on text highlighted in color to access the full report


Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC): Collection and Use of Oil Spill Funds (Follow-Up) (2017-F-13)
An initial audit report issued in August 2015 determined that there were weaknesses in DEC’s oversight of Major Oil Storage Facilities (MOSFs) reporting and facility registration, as well as a lack of facility data analysis to identify and correct discrepancies. In a follow-up, auditors found DEC officials have made significant progress in correcting the problems identified in the initial report. The initial report’s four recommendations were implemented.

Department of Health: Medicaid Claims Processing Activity October 1, 2016 Through March 31, 2017 (2016-S-66)
Auditors identified approximately $12.4 million in improper Medicaid payments, including $4.58 million in overpayments for long-stay inpatient claims that were billed at higher levels of care than what was allowed; $2.9 million in overpayments for Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program claims that were billed in excess of permitted limits; and $1.4 million in overpayments for claims that were billed with incorrect information pertaining to other health insurance coverage that recipients had. By the end of the audit fieldwork, about $6.3 million of the overpayments had been recovered.

Department of Health (DOH): Appropriateness of Medicaid Eligibility Determined by the New York State of Health System (NYSOH) (Follow-Up) (2017-F-4)
An initial audit report released in October 2015 found flaws in NYSOH’s eligibility process that resulted in overpayments of about $3.4 million due to enrollments of deceased individuals and continued coverage for individuals who died after enrollment; multiple Client Identification Numbers (CINs) issued to individual recipients; and unreasonably high numbers of CINs issued for expected multiple births per pregnancy. In a follow-up, auditors found DOH made certain improvements to NYSOH and most of the overpayments caused by the enrollment of deceased individuals were recouped. However, further actions are still needed.

Office of Information Technology Services (ITS): Disaster Recovery Planning (2016-S-97)
Auditors found ITS has made some efforts toward disaster recovery planning; however, there is not a complete, functional, and tested disaster recovery plan that covers all aspects of its operations, including the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CSNE) data center and the centralized IT services it provides to the 46 executive agencies. ITS is working on completing a disaster recovery plan for the CNSE data center and anticipates it will be done in late 2018.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority: Long Island Rail Road - Utilization of the Arch Street Yard and Shop Facility (2016-S-78)

Auditors found the facility was never used as intended for the acceptance and inspection of certain train cars. Moreover, except for occasional use of the wheel truing equipment to round off flat spots on rail car wheels, the facility was also not used for periodic inspections or repairs. Since its construction in December 2004, the facility has undergone periods when it was vacant (for over 3.5 years), leased to a vendor to make warranty repairs, and licensed twice; once as a parking lot to accommodate a tenant displaced from an MTA project, and once to a contractor to perform modifications on Metro-North Railroad rail cars. The LIRR incurred costs of $2.43 million to maintain and secure the facility from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016.

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development: Vacancies at the Clinton Towers Mitchell-Lama Housing Development (2017-N-1)
Vacant apartments at Clinton Towers were often not rented in a timely manner. Auditors found that for the period January 2012 through March 2017, an average of 13 apartments each month had been vacant for over 60 days, resulting in an estimated $740,000 in lost rental revenue. On March 31, 2017, 15 apartments at Clinton Towers had been vacant for more than 60 days, even though there were over 9,000 applicants on the external waiting lists, resulting in approximately $78,000 in lost rental revenue. Eleven of these apartments were vacant for more than six months, including three that had been vacant for more than a year.

State Education Department (SED): The New Interdisciplinary School (NIS), Compliance with the Reimbursable Cost Manual (2017-S-20)
NIS is a not-for-profit special education provider located in Suffolk County providing preschool special education services to children with disabilities who are between three and five years of age. For the two fiscal years ended June 30, 2014 and 2015, auditors identified $119,752 in ineligible costs that NIS reported for state reimbursement. The ineligible costs included: $83,192 in personal service costs and $36,560 in other than personal service costs.


State To Save Millions After Audit Uncovers Unnecessary Medicaid Transportation Costs

New York state’s Medicaid program is expected to save $7.6 million over the next five years as the result of actions taken by the state Department of Health (DOH) after an audit found it had incorrectly paid contractors for transportation management services it shouldn’t have, according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Thanks to the work of my auditors, the state has tightened oversight of this important service and these changes will save millions of dollars,” DiNapoli said. “The state Department of Health moved quickly to correct these problems, and my office will continue to monitor for overpayments and abuse in the Medicaid system.”  

The Medicaid program provides transportation to medical services for individuals who are unable to obtain their own transportation. DOH contracted with two companies to manage the non-emergency transportation program statewide: LogistiCare Solutions LLC and Medical Answering Services LLC. These companies were reimbursed nearly $180 million over the audit period, January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016.

DiNapoli’s auditors found that DOH overpaid these contractors more than $6.2 million during the audit period for transportation management services for individuals who were not eligible for these services. In response to the audit, DOH made changes, which are expected to save taxpayers another $7.6 million over the coming years.

Auditors also identified a provider of taxi services that overbilled DOH for tolls. The provider told auditors it charged for tolls based on the cash toll rate instead of the discounted amount it actually paid through its E-ZPass account. During the audit period, the provider billed Medicaid a total of $169,893 for tolls. In response to the work of auditors, the provider informed the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) of the overbilling. At the end of the audit fieldwork, the amount of the overpayment had not yet been determined by the OMIG.

DiNapoli’s auditors also identified another provider of taxi services that did not have supporting documentation for claims totaling about $2.4 million, and four advanced life support first responder (ALSFR) providers that were inappropriately enrolled in Medicaid, resulting in $162,401 in inappropriate payments.

DiNapoli recommended DOH:

Recover the $6.2 million in contract overpayments to the transportation managers for the period January 2013 to December 2016 and ensure that Medicaid coverage groups are excluded from the monthly recipient counts that are used to pay transportation managers;

Review the Medicaid payments made to the two taxi providers and recover any improper payments as warranted; and

Review the Medicaid payments made to the four ALSFR providers and recover overpayments as warranted. Take the necessary corrective steps regarding the four ALSFR providers’ future participation in the Medicaid program, and take steps to ensure that ALSFR companies are not enrolled as Medicaid providers.

DOH’s response is included in the audit.

Read the report, or go to: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093018/16s67.pdf

For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 140,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created to promote transparency in government and provide taxpayers with better access to financial data.

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