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Health & Wellness

Medicaid fraud bureau to seek out abuse

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has announced the creation of a Medicaid Anti-Fraud Task Force. 

Poloncarz says Medicaid continues to represent the single largest cost to the county -- $211 million already this year.  He says the new task force will root out "provider-level" waste, fraud, and abuse from doctors, dentists, transportation services and pharmacists.

Poloncarz says the task force will go after "the types of entities that overbill the system." He cited a Monroe County pharmacist that fraudulently billed for prescriptions that were never filled.

"Let this be a warning to those who are trying to take advantage, or have taken advantage, of the system. We will find you, we will find what you did, and we will work with our partners in New York State government to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law and receive repayment for the improper payments that you received," Poloncarz said at a Wednesday morning news conference.

Three positions for the new task force would need approval by the County Legislature at Thursday's session. 

The cost of the task force would be covered by Albany.  Poloncarz says any evidence of fraud locally would be turned over the State Attorney General's Office.