In a full-fledged opinion by Judge Read, with two concurring judges, the Court of Appeals determined that the Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) is authorized to remove a physician from New York’s Medicaid program based on a consent order between the physician and the Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct (BPMC) regardless of whether BPMC chooses to suspend the physician:
In this litigation, Supreme Court annulled OMIG’s determination to terminate petitioner-physician’s participation in the Medicaid program on the basis of a BPMC consent order, and directed his reinstatement. In the consent order, petitioner-physician pleaded no contest to charges of professional misconduct and agreed to 36 months’ probation. Upon OMIG’s appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed, holding that it was arbitrary and capricious for the agency to bar petitioner-physician from treating Medicaid patients when BPMC permitted him to continue to practice; and that OMIG was required to conduct an independent investigation before excluding a physician from Medicaid on the basis of a BPMC consent order … . We subsequently granted OMIG permission to appeal (19 NY3d 813 ).
We disagree with the Appellate Division’s rationale, but affirm because OMIG’s determination was arbitrary and capricious for another reason. Specifically, OMIG did not explain why the BPMC consent order in this case caused it to exercise its discretion pursuant to 18 NYCRR 515.7 (e) to exclude petitioner-physician from the Medicaid program. * * *
When resolving charges of professional misconduct with BPMC, physicians and their attorneys should be mindful that a settlement with BPMC does not bind OMIG, as petitioner-physician discovered in this case. Matter of Koch, DO v Sheehan…, 153, CtApp 10-22-13