Saladino Takes on Fraud, Waste and Abuse in the Medicaid System

Long Island roundtable focuses on ways to lower costs for counties and taxpayers
March 9, 2006
Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (R,C,I-Massapequa) along with members of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Medicaid Fraud, Waste and Abuse met today with local officials and healthcare professionals to discuss ways of cutting down on fraudulent claims and wasteful spending by both patients and providers.

“New York’s spending on Medicaid has spiraled out of control. We must protect the taxpayers of Long Island,” said Assemblyman Saladino “The program is essential in providing quality health care to those who cannot afford it, but taxpayers’ hard earned money is being wasted by an inefficient system that needs to be reformed. Through the task force, we will identify some of the problems dealing with Medicaid fraud, decrease the cost, and save the taxpayers money.”

Representatives of IBM and Salient, two companies that are working with counties to develop computer programs designed to combat fraudulent claims, also testified at the hearing.

Last year, New York spent approximately $44.5 billion on the Medicaid program, nearly as much as California and Texas combined. Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse within the system accounted for $4.5 billion, nearly 10 percent of Medicaid costs. Assemblyman Saladino and his minority colleagues have consistently called for reform of the Medicaid system, including a state take-over of the program to relieve the counties of the shared burden.

The roundtable discussion on Long Island was the first in a series of hearings that will be held across the state. The next task force event is scheduled for mid-April in the Hudson Valley, with additional events to be held in the North Country, Central New York and Western New York.