Granite Broadcasting, the owner of WTVH Channel 5 in Syracuse and about a dozen other TV stations across the United States, announced that, absent asset sales or changes to its capital structure, it will not have enough cash to make its interest payment on June 1, 2006. Granite says it has hired international investment bank Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin to help it evaluate "strategic options" and provide advice on available financing and capital-restructuring alternatives.
BINGHAMTON - The New York State Senate adopted a sweeping Medicaid fraud-enforcement package on March 14, a move that is expected to save taxpayers more than $2 billion.
State Sen. Thomas W. Libous, R-Binghamton, told local business leaders earlier this month at a legislative update meeting in Binghamton that the proposed legislation is necessary to combat fraud in the state's Medicaid program.
"Medicaid fraud is the worst kind of theft," Libous says. "It drastically drives up the cost to taxpayers and reduces the quality of care for those who really need it."
The March 9 legislative update was the 12th annual meeting sponsored by the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. About 50 people attended the meeting held at the Binghamton Regency Hotel and Conference Center.
It featured Libous; state Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell; state Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch, R-Guilford; and state Assemblyman Gary D. Finch, R-Springport.
Legislators noted that the State Assembly and Senate are focused on adopting a state budget on time this year, as well as working on procedural reforms in both houses and changes in workers'-compensation regulations.
The proposed Medicaid fraud-enforcement package includes creating a new, independent Office of Medicaid Inspector General to prosecute fraud cases, referring some fraud cases to local district attorneys for prosecution, increasing civil and criminal fines and penalties, and giving local governments and district attorney offices a Portion of Medicaid-fraud recoveries, and improving computer data collection and tracking.
The proposed legislation moves next to the state Assembly for consideration and adoption.
Lupardo noted that the state is considering establishing a pilot program, proposed for Chemung County, which will feature the latest technology to detect Medicaid fraud.
Among other issues discussed, Finch supports building more power plants in New York, including alternativeenergy sources such as wind power, while Crouch said he supported the consolidation or sharing of services on the local- and county-government level.
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