NYC nursing home with ties to haredi groups faces Medicaid ban
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NYC nursing home with ties to haredi groups faces Medicaid ban

(JTA) — Citing administrative violations, New York regulators want to bar from the Medicaid program a Bronx nursing home that funds haredi Orthodox charities.

Bronxwood Home for the Aged, which sends a substantial part of its revenue to the charities, could soon be required to pay $6.9 million in restitution to New York State and be kicked out of Medicaid for three years, the Forward reported Friday. Bronxwood receives roughly a third of its revenue through the program.

An audit found that the name of a Bronx doctor had been signed on medical evaluations submitted by the home for procedures that the doctor did not conduct.

The New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, which investigates fraud and waste in the health care program for low-income New Yorkers, notified Bronxwood on Feb. 19 that it was seeking punitive actions in response to the audit findings.

The audit of the program’s 2006 and 2007 claims found that $6.9 million of the $8.5 million that Medicaid gave to the facility in those years should not have been paid. Of the 200 Medicaid claims OMIG reviewed in its audit, 174 had a misstatement or an error.

OMIG found 133 documents provided by Bronxwood that had purportedly been signed by a doctor named Owen Golden and used to bill Medicaid. Yet Golden never saw patients at Bronxwood. According to OMIG, the evaluations may have been conducted by other doctors, or may not have been conducted at all.

Bronxwood’s attorney and Golden did not respond to multiple requests by the Forward for comment.

The conclusion of the Bronxwood probe was conducted in parallel to an unrelated federal investigation into fiscal abuse by haredi Orthodox educational institutions. On Wednesday, dozens of FBI agents and detectives searched yeshivas and tech vendors in New York for records accounting for equipment allegedly bought by religious schools with millions in federal education technology dollars. They confiscated documents and hard drives from several locales.