New York City pays $70M for overbilling Medicaid

The City of New York has agreed to pay $70 million to settle a lawsuit with the U.S. government over the way it billed for Medicaid, reports The New York Times.

As part of the settlement, the city acknowledged that it had improperly authorized home care and related personal services for Medicaid patients without obtaining appropriate assessments from physicians, nurses, or social workers. Such services could cost as much as $150,000 a year. It also admitted that at times it failed to submit claims to independent medical reviews.

The suit was filed by the Justice Department in January. And despite admitting it had engaged in the overbilling, the city's corporate counsel said the issues centered around "record-keeping deficiencies" rather than wrongdoing.

"The city's argument that this case was about 'paperwork' was specifically rejected by Federal District Court Judge Jed Rakoff when he denied the city's motion to dismiss this case," said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, in the Times article.

However, the Justice Department did not specifically dispute whether the services provided were unnecessary, notes the Wall Street Journal.

For more information:
- read The New York Times article
- read the Wall Street Journal article