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Monday, July 22, 2013

16 Treatment Centers Under Investigation

An investigation of 16 substance abuse treatment centers in California covered by the states insurance plan Medi-Cal is underway. The treatment centers are suspected of fraud and hiring providers who have felonies on their records, according to the California Department of Health Care Services.

The centers are believed to have billed Medi-Cal for services that were not medically necessary and charged for services not offered, the Los Angeles Times reports. It is believed that the treatment centers also hired workers who had been convicted of neglecting and abusing patients at other health centers, according to the article.

For now, the treatment facilities will remain open, but will not receive funds from Medi-Cal during the investigation. Norman Williams, head of the communications office at the department, said one of the goals is “to minimize patient harm because it’s not just about the money, but the people, to make sure they’re getting adequate care. We want to make sure that people know that we’re monitoring this closely and ensuring the safety of our members.”

The California Department of Justice sanctions could temporarily suspend providers from submitting claims or permanently suspend them from participation in Medi-Cal, according to a news release.

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