Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a multipronged approach to combating auto insurance fraud. The initiative is outlined in the 2014–2015 Executive Budget released yesterday.
“The Governor’s proposal to crack down on auto fraud appears to have great promise,” Ellen Melchionni, president of the New York Insurance Association (NYIA) said. “Fraud is a huge problem in New York. The current laws contain gaping loopholes that allow criminals to exploit New Yorkers.”
The Governor’s plans include expanding the New York State Department of Financial Services’ ability to audit healthcare providers participating in the no-fault auto insurance system, prohibiting fraudulent providers from receiving payment and fining providers for engaging in illegal activities.
“Our healthcare system has been held hostage for too long by corrupt individuals posing as medical professionals,” Melchionni said. “Patient safety needs to be restored. Medical mills that have no interest in treating people seeking medical care need to be shut down.”
These enhanced consumer protections will make New York a safer place. “Auto insurance fraud makes our roadways more dangerous, diminishes the quality of health care in our state, and adds financial burdens to New York families,” Melchionni said. “These additional fraud fighting measures are a definite step in the right direction.”
Legislative action is also necessary to effectively fight fraud in the state. The New York Insurance Association calls for legislators to pass the following measures this year: make staging an auto accident a felony, end fraudulent billing from fly-by-night durable medical equipment providers, permit retroactive cancellation of fraudulently obtained auto policies, and require providers to prove that a treatment is medically necessary.
“The New York Insurance Association appreciates Governor Cuomo’s and Superintendent Lawsky’s leadership on this issue that affects all New Yorkers,” Melchionni said. “The members of NYIA have adopted a zero tolerance policy for fraud and encourage the state to advance a comprehensive attack to stop the fraud.”
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