New York - Report: Millions In Grants To Orthodox Jewish Institutions May Result In Multi-Year Medicaid Ban For Bronx Home
New York - A Bronx old age home with a history of donating substantial amounts of money to Chasidic yeshivos and other Jewish causes may find itself one of the few in the state to be barred from Medicaid for three years after an audit conducted by the state.
The Bronxwood Home for the Aged, located on Gun Hill Road in the Bronx for more than 35 years, offers both independent and assisted living facilities as well as kosher meals. The New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General announced in February that it would seek punitive actions against the facility after finding numerous violations of both state and federal Medicaid laws, as reported by the Forward.
The OMIG audit revealed that Bronxwood was only eligible for $1.6 million in Medicaid funding in 2006 and 2007 but that the program actually paid out $8.5 million to the home because of incorrect or misstated claims. More than 85 percent of the claims submitted during that time period were determined to be problematic and 133 documents provided by the facility were reportedly signed by Dr. Owen Golden who never saw patients at Bronxwood.
OMIG is seeking to exclude Bronxwood from Medicaid for a three year period, a move that could have serious ramification for the facility which receives approximately one third of its revenue through the program. A review by the Forward found only one other adult home in New York currently barred from Medicaid and OMIG is also recommending that Golden and three other doctors from Medicaid be barred from the program for the same amount of time.
According to the Forward (http://goo.gl/qwlSsP), Bronxwood had been allocating grants of up to $2 million per year , one tenth of the total revenue it received, to Chasidic yeshivas, Jewish charities and Orthodox activist groups for years, with $19.5 million in grants made since 1997. Experts noted that typically non-profit homes like Bronxwood would use any surplus to improve the facility and services offered instead of allocating it for charitable donations.
Bronxwood has just a short window, through the middle of March, to make any claims to counter the OMIG audit. A final ruling, which could be appealed to an administrative judge, would come sometime thereafter.
“These enforcement actions send a clear message to providers who violate state and federal Medicaid law that they will be held fully accountable,” Dennis Rosen, Medicaid inspector general said. “Moreover, that my office will be vigilant in its efforts to protect the integrity of the state’s Medicaid program, promote high-quality care within the healthcare delivery system and save taxpayer dollars.”
Both Bronxwood’s attorney and Golden did not return calls for comment.
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