From the NY Post:
Bureaucratic bungling of the Medicaid program at the state level has squandered more than $140 million in taxpayer dollars over the last decade by putting thousands of ineligible people on the public health-insurance rolls.
The reason, The Post has learned, is a simple computer hiccup -- and the problem isn't even completely fixed.
Albany computer geeks failed to update the database, so the system misread new codes in information provided by the federal government dating back to 1999, according to explosive documents included in litigation filed in 2001 against the state by New York City. The case has bounced around the court system and was recently ruled on by the state Court of Claims.
In his ruling released last month, Court of Claims Judge Thomas Scuccimarra said the state must repay the city for the erroneous billings, but reserved judgment on how much pending a hearing.
The city sued the state because it pays part of the freight for Medicaid. The Bloomberg administration is demanding repayment of $16.8 million the state billed it to cover 13,239 ineligible city residents put on the Medicaid rolls from 1999 to 2002.
And city welfare officials are so infuriated by Albany's expensive goofs that they've protested by withholding $8.4 million in other funds the city owes the state.
State officials estimated that the snafu cost New York taxpayers across the state a whopping $141 million from 1997 to 2002.
The blunders center on people who apply, receive or are denied supplemental security income. People eligible for SSI -- mostly the disabled or elderly -- automatically qualify for Medicaid.
But the state gave Medicaid benefits to applicants who were denied SSI; people already removed from the program; and people who applied and were awaiting a decision.