As your independent taxpayer watchdog- your Erie County Comptroller – I issued over 50 major audits and reviews that identified more than $27million in potential savings. I have a proven track record of identifying waste in government and I will take those proven techniques to the office of executive in order to ensure your hard earned tax dollars are not wasted.
For example, Medicaid is the single-largest cost to Erie County, with more than $1 Billion spent annually. While the current executive complains about the soaring costs and the effect they are having on the County, his only answers are to cut services to needy families and blame New York State. While Medicaid is a valuable social safety net for many in our community, the program does contain waste and is often riddled with fraud.
Given new state mechanisms allowing counties to conduct systematic and large-scale anti-fraud investigations of Medicaid providers, I strongly believe the County should be aggressively moving forward on such initiatives. Erie County should be taking the lead in these investigations. Instead, under the current executive, it appears we have barely left the starting line.
In addition to aggressively fighting Medicaid fraud, as YOUR County Executive, I will capitalize on successful programs many counties across the state have implemented and are already reaping the benefits of.
For example, in Chemung County, a Republican county executive created a Medicaid health clinic designed to serve as a primary care office for Medicaid recipients. Prior to the clinic’s formation, Chemung County determined many Medicaid recipients were utilizing hospital emergency rooms to treat basic problems – a sore throat or a headache – and the costs of such visits were far more than basic clinic services. By creating a specialized clinic for their Medicaid recipients, and managing the recipients’ healthcare, Chemung County was able to better control the cost of Medicaid while still providing quality healthcare to those who legitimately qualify for the service.
I propose the creation of a center like this in Erie County, which will serve as a point of entry for Medicaid patients. Such a center would reduce program misuse, fraud and overuse while providing quality care. Moreover, it will save millions of dollars per year by controlling costs presently beyond the control of county government.
Instead of coming up with creative solutions, the current executive chose to instead close two county health clinics that served tens of thousands of Medicaid patients, eliminating efficiency and control of Medicaid and making County taxpayers susceptible to higher costs.
To read more about Chemung County’s successful innovative approach to Medicaid care, click here: http://www.the-leader.com/news/x1225333657/Chemung-Medicaid-clinic-produces-savings