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Erie County reveals fraudulent Medicaid claims

WBFO News photo by Chris Caya

A closer look at Medicaid spending by Erie County shows taxpayers are being ripped off.  Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced Thursday that an investigation by the County's Medicaid Inspector General found $127,000 worth of fraudulent claims by some recipients.

Poloncarz told reporters the investigation started with confidential tips.

"It's important for the public to understand that we want them to know people are out there watching," said Poloncarz. "If you continue to do this, we are going to find out about this and we are going to go after you." 

Going forward, Poloncarz said the individuals will have to pay their healthcare costs out of their own pocket. Providers are also being watched. Poloncarz says audits by the Inspector General uncovered more than 320-thousand-dollars worth of overpayments. He says the information has been forwarded to the state for further action.  

"We're not going to just stand by, and say well that person is taking an advantage of the system and we are going to turn a blind eye to it and just walk away.  We are not going to do that. We are going to go after individuals trying to take advantage of the system," said Poloncarz.