A Port Washington nursing home has been ordered to repay New York State nearly $500,000 after an audit revealed the facility billed Medicaid for the use of luxury automobiles "not related to patient care" and "mortgage expenses that could not be verified."
The audit by a state agency said the Sands Point Center for Health and Rehabilitation must repay $470,367 for "disallowed costs associated with automobiles and other vehicles not related to patient care and instead determined that the cars were for the personal use of members of the facility's management."
Sands Point also was found to list "mortgage expenses . . . and other expenses that could not be verified," the audit said.
Tim Brown, a spokesman for the health facility, said about $32,000 of the repayment is related to disallowed auto costs. Most of the rest of the repayment is because Sands Point refinanced its mortgage, Brown said.
Because of the relationship between the health program and the nursing home, the realized mortgage savings were supposed to go back to Medicaid, he said.
"Sands Point is not disputing the amounts and is paying them," Brown said.
The findings were released late Tuesday by the State of New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.
Two other nursing homes, both in the Bronx, also were ordered to repay the state program, the audit said. Eastchester Rehabilitation and Health Care Center was ordered to pay back $478,068, and Morris Park Nursing Home was ordered to repay $120,913.
In a July 31 letter to Sands Point, the Medicaid inspector general's office said the audit covered a period from Jan. 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2008.
Over that period, Sands Point billed Medicaid more than $35 million, Brown said.
In the first six months of 2013, the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General identified $103 million in overpayments, the release said.