New York Medicaid program bought sex offenders' erectile dysfunction drugs, audit finds

New York Medicaid program bought sex offenders' erectile dysfunction drugs, audit finds
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New York’s publicly funded Medicaid program covered more than $63,000 worth of erectile dysfunction drugs and sexual treatment for sex offenders in the state between 2012 and 2018, according to an audit released Wednesday.

During that time, Medicaid officials approved $930,000 in improper payments for the drugs and related treatments, the New York State Comptroller’s Office found.

According to the audit, 47 of those recipients were also registered as state sex offenders. State and federal laws prohibit Medicaid from covering sexual treatments and drugs for registered sex offenders.

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“There are clear rules about what conditions Medicaid will cover when it comes to erectile dysfunction drugs. And paying for sex offenders who’ve committed terrible crimes to get these drugs should never be lost in the bureaucratic administration of this program,” New York State Comptroller DiNapoli said in a written statement.

The state Department of Health fired back after the audit’s release, saying it “strongly disagrees with the Comptroller’s conclusions,” adding that it believes only about $8,000 of the payments from 2012 to 2018 were questionable.

In a statement to CBS New York, the department said such drugs can also be prescribed for non-sexual issues, including hypertension and prostate issues.

The audit found that Medicaid paid for roughly $2.8 million worth of erectile dysfunction drugs for non-sexual use, but those who received the drugs did not have their medical problems listed on their claims that were submitted within two to six months of the drug prescription.