New York's Medicaid program provided registered sex offenders with erectile dysfunction drugs, reveals audit

The report showed that officials in Medicaid had approved $930,000 in improper payments for the drugs between the years of 2012 and 2018 in spite of federal rules banning coverage such as this for any person


                            New York's Medicaid program provided registered sex offenders with erectile dysfunction drugs, reveals audit

An audit that was conducted on New York state's Medicaid program has revealed that registered sex offenders in the state received $63,000 worth of erectile dysfunction drugs as well as other sexual treatments. The report, which was released by the state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, showed that officials in Medicaid had approved $930,000 in improper payments for the drugs between the years of 2012 and 2018 in spite of federal rules banning coverage such as this for any person.

Fox News reported that according to the audit, however, 47 of the Medicaid recipients also just so happened to be convicted state sex offenders. These offenders are not allowed to get Medicaid-covered sexual treatments under state law.

In this Jan. 1, 2019 file photo, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli delivers his address after taking his oath of office, on Ellis Island in New York harbor (Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The lapses identified in the audit show the need for immediate action by state health officials to increase accountability and oversight, DiNapoli said. "There are clear rules about what conditions Medicaid will cover when it comes to erectile dysfunction drugs," he said and added, "Paying for sex offenders who've committed terrible crimes to get these drugs should never be lost in the bureaucratic administration of this program."

State health officials dismissed much of the criticism, noting that under Medicaid rules, erectile dysfunction drugs can be prescribed to treat other conditions, such as prostate problems.  The auditors "either ignored the law or the facts, which undermines any value that can be associated with its findings," the department said in a formal, written response to the audit.

The auditors, however, discounted that explanation, noting that in many cases the medications were approved for Medicaid recipients who had no relevant diagnosis.

With AP inputs

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