US sues NYC, saying millions of dollars were obtained through false Medicaid claims

The federal government has sued New York City, saying it ripped off Medicaid for millions of dollars by submitting tens of thousands of false claims.

A civil lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed Monday in Manhattan federal court.

The lawsuit says the city and a computer company used computer programs to dodge a requirement that Medicaid be billed only after private insurance coverage is exhausted. The lawsuit says false diagnosis codes were submitted to Medicaid.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (bahr-AHR'-ah) says the city's aim was to get paid by Medicaid as quickly and as much as possible.

The city's law office says in a statement it strongly disagrees with the claims and the city acted appropriately. It says the case involves "technical billing issues, not fraud."