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Legislation would beef up background checks

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle, D-Irondequoit, is introducing legislation that would strengthen background check requirements for potential contractors through the Medicaid waiver program.

At present, before the county Department of Social Services selects a contractor to administer a service covered under Medicaid – such as home renovations for the disabled — it is required to reference a list provided by the state Office of Medicaid Inspector General of anyone whose participation in the Medicaid program has been excluded. Currently, the excluded contractors’ listing contains only those who have committed violations relative to Medicaid fraud, and no other criminal acts.

Morelle’s legislation would direct the Department of Health to establish a new policy that would require potential contractors to undergo a complete criminal background check. Existing and potential contractors found to have committed health care fraud, in violation of the federal false claims act, or convicted of felony fraud would be disqualified from the program.

The bill is sponsored by state Sen. John A. DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse.




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