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Medicaid Mishandling in New York City Results in $70 Million Settlement For Consumers

New York City recently agreed to pay out $70 million in a settlement after people accused the city of mishandling a Medicaid program there, Reuters is reporting.

Medicaid is a government-backed system managed by states to assist low-income families and people with disabilities with medical and healthcare issues. It is the largest healthcare program in the country as millions of people rely on it to provide needed medications and help for their ailments.Legal issues stemming from health care in New York can crop up when agencies that govern medical procedures and drug testing for instance, and in this case, Medicaid, fail to do their work properly. Health care is extremely important, as the average person relies on nurses, doctors and specialists to help them make solid decisions that keep them well.

According to the Reuters article, a lawsuit was brought under the False Claims Act in which federal prosecutors alleged that the government had paid out tens of millions of dollars as a result of the city mishandling its personal-care services program. The False Claims Act allows for the recovery of penalties and damages when false claims are paid by the federal government.

From 2000 to 2010, the Human Resources Administration provided 24-hour personal-care services to some Medicaid recipients without proper authorization granted from medical personnel or via independent medical reviews.

The city alleges that the lawsuit, brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, was based on nothing more than “technical record-keeping deficiencies.”

But the U.S. Attorney said that the city attorney’s statement contradicts the “stipulation he personally signed and submitted to the court.” The city’s claim that the lawsuit was based on an issue over “paperwork” was rejected earlier in the case.

Issues of health care in New York can cover a wide variety of issues. An experienced lawyer can assist patients who believe they were wronged or who had benefits denied based on discrimination or other reasons.

But hospitals, health systems, physicians, mental health experts and others can also benefit from sound legal advice. Medical malpractice lawsuits and other allegations of wrongdoing tend to crop up regularly and they must be properly handled by experienced counsel.

These cases are complex and require the legal skills of an attorney, along with medical experts, who have many years’ experience. Many times these issues can be resolved without litigation. But in other cases, a lawsuit can bring needed resolution to a lingering issue.

These are often consumer rights’ issues as well as healthcare issues combined into one. Therefore, many people can be affected by the outcome of these decisions. With health care always being a hot topic, there are always reasons to get sound legal advice dealing with a person’s health and long-term care.

The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides health care legal counsel in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.

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Additional Resources:

NYC to pay $70 mln to settle charges of Medicaid mishandling, by Noleen Walder, Reuters