An audit of New York state’s Medicaid program found that registered sex offenders received $63,000 worth of erectile dysfunction drugs and other sexual treatments courtesy of the state’s publicly funded program.
The audit released on Wednesday shows that state Medicaid officials approved a total of $930,000 in improper payments between 2012 and 2018
Federal rules are supposed to bar Medicaid coverage of sexual treatments for all recipients, not just sex offenders.
RT reports: The audit found that Medicaid had made improper payments of $933,594 for “drugs, procedures, and supplies” to treat erectile dysfunction between 2012 and 2018, which is illegal under state and federal laws. “There are clear rules about what conditions Medicaid will cover when it comes to erectile dysfunction drugs,” state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.
“Paying for sex offenders, who’ve committed terrible crimes, to get these drugs should never be lost in the bureaucratic administration of this program.”
Of the 47 sex offenders who’d received the treatments, 30 of them were classified as “level-2” or “level-3” offenders. Risk of reoffending is determined as “moderate” for level-2 offenders and “high” for level-3 offenders.
DiNapoli said the problem of Medicaid being used to treat sexual dysfunction issues had been identified by the comptroller’s office in 2005, when it found that Medicaid had paid for Viagra for 198 recipients who were classified as level-3 sex offenders. That review sparked an overhaul and led to reforms in the system on both a national and state level, but the latest audit confirms the problem persists.
In a response to the audit, the state’s Department of Health dismissed the findings, arguing that the drugs in question “can also be used to treat other indications” including hypertension and enlarged prostates. The department claims less than $8,000 of the figure was questionable, out of a $60 billion state program.
DiNapoli rejected the response, however, saying in many cases recipients had no other relevant diagnosis.