Federal Government Examines Cost Estimation Process for WTC Health Programs
March 12, 2008
Following a request from several members of the New York Congressional delegation, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued the results of its audit of the process used by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to estimate WTC health program costs of $218 million for fiscal year 2008. According to the report , the process used by NIOSH was a marked improvement over previous years.
In a letter to the delegation, the GAO noted that NIOSH used actual average costs from April through June 2007 for its estimate for screening and monitoring exams and outpatient treatment. Previously, NIOSH used data based on New York State Workers' Compensation reimbursement payments. While the Center for Disease Control's (CDC's) Office of the Director agreed that the process used by NIOSH was much improved, the Agency stressed that WTC health programs would cost significantly less than NIOSH's estimate for fiscal year 2008.
Note: Both NIOSH's and CDC's estimates do not include costs for the WTC Environmental Health Center. Funded by New York City, the Center treats residents, area workers and other non-responders exposed to the WTC collapse.