The situation has improved somewhat since the problems came to light 18 months ago, says the report, which is to be released today. But the report strongly asserts that the underlying problems at the state's Department of Health remain.
The report also supports charges made by patients, doctors, physical therapists and equipment vendors: that ever since the department eliminated the Medicaid office in New York City that handled most of the claims in the state, there have been too few people processing requests, many of those people are not qualified to do the job, and the staff reviewing the requests consistently finds flaws that do not really exist.
After the New York City office closed in October 2004 and its functions were moved to Albany, some doctors and therapists who order the equipment said, approvals of equipment requests halted for months, and then resumed at a trickle. For many patients, that meant being trapped in their apartments or using ill-fitting or broken devices.
The Department of Health at first denied that the move had hindered its ability to operate the program. Then it said the Albany office was enforcing rules on documentation that the New York City office had ignored. Then it blamed a flood in the office for the delays. Link.
Monday, July 17, 2006
In the news: Report Assails NY on Program for Disabled
In today's NYT, an article about problems in NY in processing Medicaid claims for DME. Snip: