New Jersey balks at paying $37 million to counties in Medicaid dispute

The state of New Jersey has been ordered to repay counties at least $37.3 million, the amount they overpaid Medicaid for care in nursing homes, psychiatric facilities and some school districts, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, announced Tuesday.

Passaic County is likely to receive more than $12 million, Pascrell said.

A letter the federal Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services sent the state last month said New Jersey must pay $20.9 million to county nursing facilities, $2.5 million to state and county psychiatric facilities and $13.9 million to school districts.

“I applaud CMS for its decision to reimburse New Jersey counties for Medicaid overpayments they made during the recession,” Pascrell said. “I urge the state to act expeditiously to complete this process and redistribute these funds.”

However, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services said New Jersey is disputing the entire $37.3 million payment.

Nicole Brossoie said the department is “surprised at CMS’ decision since in March 2014, its deputy director indicated in her correspondence that she agreed New Jersey was in compliance.”

The department will move forward with a formal appeal to the federal Departmental Appeals Board, Brossoie said.

The payments were made by the counties as part of the program designed to

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