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Comptroller releases state agency audits

ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office issued the following audits of various agencies:

Department of Health Medicaid Overpayments for Out-of-State Ambulatory Surgery Services (Follow-Up) (2012-F-26)
An initial audit report examining whether DOH was appropriately paying out-of-state providers for ambulatory surgery services provided to New York State Medicaid recipients found $12.2 million in actual and potential Medicaid overpayments for such services during the audit period. Following up, auditors found DOH and the Medicaid Inspector General made progress in addressing the issues identified in the initial audit. This included the recovery of $1,309,960

Department of Health Monitoring of Medicaid Payments for Nursing Home Bed Reserve Days (Follow-Up) (2012-F-28)
An initial audit examined whether nursing home claims submitted to Medicaid for hospital bed reserve days were appropriate. During the five year audit period ended March 31, 2010, Medicaid paid $28 million for bed reserve claims that exceeded the bed reserve day limit. However, because reimbursement rates were the same for both standard and reserve care during our audit period, auditors determined no significant overpayments occurred. Auditors recommended DOH remind nursing homes of the correct way of coding for standard nursing home days and bed reserve days and implement controls within eMedNY to prevent payment of claims for bed reserve days in excess of prescribed limits. In a follow-up, auditors found DOH and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General have taken significant actions in correcting the problems identified in the initial report.

Office of General Services Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-92)
As part of a statewide initiative to determine whether the use of travel money by selected government employees was appropriate, auditors examined travel expenses for the highest-cost travelers in the state as well as other outliers. These employees incurred more than $100,000 in travel expenses during the three year period ending March 31, 2011. Four of these employees worked at the Office of General Services (OGS) and had travel costs totaling $206,494. Auditors found the travel expenses for the four OGS employees selected for audit were documented and adhered to state travel rules and regulations.

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Selected Employee Travel Expenses (2012-S-95)
As part of a statewide initiative to determine whether the use of travel money by selected government employees was appropriate, auditors examined travel expenses for the highest-cost travelers in the state as well as other outliers. These employees incurred more than $100,000 in travel expenses during the three year period ending March 31, 2011. Three of these employees worked at the Department Taxation and Finance with outliers in the areas of train fare, fuel and other miscellaneous travel expenses. The employees travel costs totaled $91,686. Auditors found that the travel expenses for the three employees selected for audit were documented and adhered to state travel rules and regulations.

Department of Agriculture and Markets Quality of Internal Control Certification (2012-S-47)
In 1987, the Legislature passed the New York State Governmental Accountability, Audit and Internal Control Act requiring State agencies and public authorities to each institute a comprehensive system of internal controls over their operations. By April 30 each year, DOB requires each covered agency to certify compliance with the act. Agriculture and Markets’ Internal Control Certification was submitted more than four months after the April 30 deadline, the department's certification did not provide an adequate level of detail describing specific actions it will take to address its partial compliance assessment of its internal audit function. Auditors recommended the department: re-examine priorities to accommodate the timely submission of the Internal Control Certification; provide appropriately detailed responses to questions as requested in the annual Internal Control Certification; and expand and enhance the internal control training and education program to cover all aspects of internal controls for all staff levels.

Tuition Assistance Program, Pace University (2012-T-1)
Auditors determined that Pace’s certification procedures are appropriately designed and were substantially complied with during the audit period for the transactions we tested. Auditors concluded there is not a high risk that a significant number of students certified for TAP are not eligible for awards. Nonetheless, tests did disclose ten awards totaling $21,236 that school officials incorrectly certified in error.