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Report: State Medicaid bought erectile dysfunction meds for sex offenders

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Posted at 10:50 AM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 11:50:26-04
Originally Published: 05 JUN 19 11:15 ET

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) -- New York's publicly funded Medicaid program paid more than $63,000 for erectile dysfunction drugs and other sexual treatments for sex offenders, despite laws banning such expenses. An audit by the New York State Comptroller's Office found that 47 sex offenders had their ED drugs and treatments paid for.

In total, the state paid more than $930,000 for ED drugs and treatments for people that are barred under Medicaid between 2012 and 2018. State and federal laws prohibit payments for sexual treatments for any Medicaid recipient.

"There are clear rules about what conditions Medicaid will cover when it comes to erectile dysfunction drugs. And paying for sex offenders who've committed terrible crimes to get these drugs should never be lost in the bureaucratic administration of this program," said State Comptroller DiNapoli. "Nearly two decades ago this office identified this problem, which led to national and state changes. While the state Department of Health immediately followed up to make corrections during the course of our audit, our auditors found that the problem persisted and needed to be fixed."

DiNapoli urged immediate changes to ensure the state isn't misusing taxpayer money. Health officials say erectile dysfunction drugs can be used to treat other conditions, including prostate problems, but auditors discount that, saying in many cases the sex offenders who received the drugs had no relevant diagnosis.

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