Report: Medicaid Paid For NY Sex Offenders' Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

June 05, 2019 - 10:30 am
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ALBANY, N.Y. (WCBS 880/AP) -- New York's publicly funded Medicaid program paid more than $63,000 for erectile dysfunction drugs and other sexual treatments for 47 sex offenders, despite laws banning such expenses.
 
The figures come from an audit released Wednesday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and first reported by The Associated Press.
 
State and federal laws prohibit payments for sexual treatments for any Medicaid recipient. Yet auditors found that the state approved a total of more than $930,000 for such treatments between 2012 and 2018.

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DiNapoli urged immediate changes to ensure the state isn't misusing taxpayer money.

“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,” DiNapoli said. “Nearly two decades ago this office identified this problem, which led to national and state changes. While the state Department of Health immediately followed up to make corrections during the course of our audit, our auditors found that the problem persisted and needed to be fixed.”
 
Health officials say erectile dysfunction drugs can be used to treat other conditions, including prostate problems.
 
But auditors discount that, saying in many cases the sex offenders who received the drugs had no relevant diagnosis.

(© 2019 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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