Albany County Touts Success in Fighting Welfare Fraud
August 29, 2013
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today announced that Albany County has identified more than $270,000 in funds for recovery from cases closed due to fraudulent claims for child care through the county’s Department of Social Services (DSS).
The County Executive said the figure demonstrates that the multifaceted approach used by the DSS Fraud Unit to uncover waste, fraud and abuse is paying dividends. The actual amount recovered to date from fraudulent claims is $78,404. To date, more than 209 cases have been denied due to fraudulent applications which saved the county more than $1.1 million.
“The DSS Fraud Unit has instituted practices that make cost avoidance and fighting fraud a priority,” said McCoy. “This approach and our aggressive stance on recovering funds that were falsely obtained by providers is a testament to the work of our investigators. They have done a great job working with law enforcement partners to ensure that those who perpetrate fraud are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you, DSS investigators!”
The county has received some assistance from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services in fighting fraud through Child Care Fraud Prevention and Detection funding which helps DSS identify fraud and overpayments. This also reinforces the County Executive’s commitment to providing access to child care subsidies for only those who are truly eligible and referring those who commit fraud to law enforcement.
There are a number of remedies available to the county to recover funds paid on fraudulent claims including civil recovery and/or criminal prosecution. The DSS Fraud Unit has strong relationships with the Albany County District Attorney, Sheriff’s Office, Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) and others.
The county is participating in the state Department of Health Medicaid Provider Fraud Demonstration Project which works with OMIG and the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to fight fraud and has developed several significant criminal cases.
Since 2012 there have been a significant number of cases investigated which has led to monies recovered through the work of the DSS Fraud Unit. The investigations have found cases that include billing for care not provided, the provider working at another job during care hours and the provider being incarcerated or not residing at the residence of claimed care. Albany County is overseeing a network of approximately 375 providers and has stepped up home visits to verify eligibility, identity of the provider and recordkeeping procedures.