Smith Calls For Further Oversight, Reform Of State Health Department Following Nearly $1 Billion In Overpayment Of Claims

Assemblyman Doug Smith (R,C,I-Holbrook) is calling on the state Department of Health (DOH) to be re-evaluated as it currently stands following a report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that highlights nearly $1 billion was paid from the DOH to health care providers that were not qualified to bill due to previously-established standards. After the years of DOH mismanagement in New York, particularly on the issue of nursing home scandals during the pandemic, Smith believes that reforming and restructuring of the department is necessary.

“The DOH is too big, too powerful, completely unresponsive and accountable to no one,” Smith said. “The same New York State Health Department that forced COVID-positive patients into nursing homes for weeks before changing course in 2020 has paid out almost $1 billion to health care providers who are not qualified to accept payment. It’s time for a serious restructure.”

DiNapoli and the Office of the New York State Comptroller have already submitted audits to solve the issue, to which the DOH has agreed to comply with. Smith believes this to be only a starting point for a solution.

“Investigating the problem is well and good, but we know what the problem is—the department is too big to be managed effectively. It’s time to condense its reach and reassess its authority in New York,” Smith concluded.