Auditors investigating New York’s healthcare exchange announced on Thursday the state paid $325,000 for hundreds of dead people who were mistakingly still on Medicaid benefits.
The New York Post reported 354 dead people were on Medicaid in New York between 2013 and 2014, which cost taxpayers an unneeded $325,000 in the 2014 fiscal year, according to the New York Post.
The report came after New York’s comptroller Tom DiNapoli launched an investigation looking for state overpays, and found that the Empire State had spent a needless $3.4 on various healthcare expenditures — $325,000 of which was spent on Medicaid for the dead.
DiNapoli reported the gaffe in the auditor’s report, and laid part of the blame on the Department of Health’s computer system, according to the New York Post.
“Only by chance does New York State Of Health receive notification of the death of an enrolled recipient and begin the process to end Medicaid coverage,” the audit states. (REVEALED: Over 3,000 New York Government Retirees Receive Pensions Over $100,000)
While 333 users were just mistakingly left on the benefits after their deaths, the Post reported that 21 of the 354 dead Medicaid users were enrolled in the program after they had died.
“The overpayments occurred because the department did not conduct sufficient periodic verifications of enrollees’ life status to remove deceased individuals from active Medicaid enrollment,” the audit reads according to the Press & Sun Bulletin.
DiNapoli said that his auditing team also found evidence of living Medicaid recipients receiving multiple identification numbers, which could have cost taxpayers an additional $3 million in needless overpay, according to the New York Daily News.
The audit states that the investigation revealed “numerous system defects and process weaknesses that, left unaddressed, risk compromising the integrity of the state’s Medicaid program.”