United Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County Reacts to OMIG Audit

Lake Katrine, N.Y. (October 2, 2013) – The New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) recently issued a press release regarding an audit of the United Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County that included factual errors and an unfair portrayal of the agency. The OMIG wrongfully claimed that the agency was overpaid by $2.27 million, but failed to mention that the audit findings are the subject of an administrative review process, which is already underway but not completed.

The audit identified instances where OMIG concluded that the paperwork did not adequately demonstrate a sufficient level of the physician’s involvement in the treatment planning for certain participants. United Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County submitted secondary documentation to OMIG demonstrating compliance with the substantive requirements, which was not accepted in favor of a more technical view of the standard.

“Audits of agencies and entities that provide services paid for by Medicaid are both necessary and important, and we strongly support the mission of the OMIG,” said Gerry Dohrenwend LCSW, MNA, executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County. “We welcome feedback from these audits as an opportunity to do a better job serving the over 200 disabled children and adults who participate in our program each day. However, we do not welcome the ‘spin’ OMIG engaged in when it issued a press release regarding the audit of our agency.”

The agency plans to correct administrative or paperwork errors, and return any monies legitimately owed, if any exist that will impact its billings. It is undisputed that in all cases reviewed, needed treatment was in fact provided to qualified patients, making OMIG’s proposed forfeiture of billings difficult to understand, as taxpayers were not harmed in any way.

“Our agency staff, the disabled individuals who participate in our programs, their families, and the community at large were stunned by the OMIG press release,” said Dohrenwend. “In issuing a poorly worded press release conveying a misleading message, the OMIG hurt the reputation of our agency – a reputation we take great pride in. We celebrate our achievements, own our weaknesses, and continually strive to provide exemplary services. That’s what a great agency does.”