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NY Medicaid exec pay is sickening

  • Last Updated: 3:18 AM, February 5, 2013
  • Posted: 2:04 AM, February 5, 2013

Executives at Medicaid- funded not-for-profits in New York are hauling in massive salaries, with one raking in $2.8 million and 14 others topping a half-million, an explosive congressional report has found.

And more than 100 other executives from Medicaid-funded agencies in New York are pulling in more than $200,000, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The report, titled Billions of Federal Tax Dollars Wasted Annually by New York’s Medicaid Program, called for a sweeping independent audit of the state’s bloated $54 billion in Medicaid spending, the nation’s highest.

It said the high-flying executive salaries it turned up are just the tip of the iceberg — and not “a comprehensive or exhaustive search of compensation packages.”

Leading the pack was Peter Campanelli, CEO of the Institute for Community Living, who received $2.876 million, according to the organization’s 2011 filing with the IRS.

Campanelli, founder of the Manhattan-based organization, which provides $110 million annually in housing programs and other services to people with mental illness and developmental disabilities, is going out on top. He will retire in June.

Institute spokesman Ron Gold said Campanelli’s huge compensation can be attributed to one-time pension payouts accrued from years of employment.

The year before, Campanelli received $783,424 from the institute and related organizations, according its tax filings.

Dennis Verzi, vice president of continuing care at Maryhaven Center of Hope in Port Jefferson, LI, made $1 million, according to the group’s 2010 filing, the most recent available. That’s a big bump from the $774,130 he made the year before.

Lawmakers intend to take up the findings today at a Capitol Hill hearing.

The House committee’s report specifically recommended a probe into claims that New York’s Medicaid inspector general is going soft on tackling waste, fraud and abuse.

But it said Gov. Cuomo has taken some “positive steps” to rein in the New York’s “bloated” Medicaid program, citing his executive order to limit compensation to Medicaid-financed institutions to less than $199,000 for bosses. Still, it recommended that the state Legislature pass a law to strengthen the executive-salary cap.

It also called on the federal government to begin recovering billions of dollars that New York improperly billed to the Medicaid program over a 20-year period to cover the costs of a dwindling number of patients at state mental institutions.

“These issues occurred under previous administrations and most, if not all, of these issues have since been corrected,” said Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi.

ccampanile@nypost.com

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