State going after “corrupt” doctors complicit in auto-insurance fraud

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New York is launching a campaign to combat abuse in the no-fault auto-insurance system, focusing on corrupt doctors, Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s superintendent of financial services, announced during a meeting this afternoon of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet.

New York has the fourth highest auto-insurance rates in the nation, and its no-fault system is “plagued by fraud,” Lawsky said. The state has the second-highest level of fraud in the country, he said.

Corrupt medical practitioners are the key to perpetuating abuses of the system because they have to sign off on all claims, the superintendent said. The state has identified about 135 doctors across the state who have significant red flags and will be requesting “all kinds of information,” he said.

“The key thing here is you need a doctor to perpetuate this scheme,” he said, adding that the physicians either bill for unneeded procedures or procedures not performed, or rent out their licenses to medical “mills.”

Lawsky’s agency will be empowered to ban corrupt practitioners from the no-fault system, working closely with the state Health Department and the Education Department. If the physicians fail to respond to the request, they will be banned from the no-fault system, he said.

Also this afternoon, Cuomo’s cabinet announced plans to redesign Thruway signs to highlight New York’s historic sites, tying into that a marketing program to encourage tourism and economic development.

 

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