NEW YORK (AP) — The federal government is suing the city of New York, saying it committed Medicaid fraud by overcharging the government for 24-hour care services over the last decade.

The government in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan seeks civil penalties and damages against the city. It says the city routinely reauthorized 24-hour continuous personal care services for applicants without obtaining the required local medical evaluation.

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The lawsuit said city administrators also overruled the local medical director when the director decided continued care was inappropriate.

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A federal prosecutor said in a release that the charges were serious and reflected “a systemic failure to responsibly administer the Medicaid program.”

A message left with a spokeswoman for the city law office was not immediately returned.

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