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CMH pays $650K to settle lawsuit with state

Aug 26, 2015 12:03 am
Paul Kirby is reporting in the Daily Freeman Columbia Memorial Hospital has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the state Attorney General’s Office. The AG alleged Columbia Memorial was part of a scheme to defraud state taxpayers of money for inpatient detoxification programs. Following news of the settlement, the hospital issued a statement denying any wrongdoing in the case. Columbia Memorial was among seven hospitals named in a civil suit claiming millions of dollars in illegal charges had been made to the state’s Medicaid program for inpatient detoxification programs. The hospital was accused of running an unlicensed drug and alcohol rehabilitation program called New Visions, with referrals from the Missouri-based health care firm SpecialCare Management Corp. The suit claimed the hospitals illegally marketed New Visions as a legitimate program and submitted Medicaid claims for patients who did not need the treatment. The Attorney General’s Office also believes Columbia Memorial paid illegal kickbacks for referrals to SpecialCare, which has agreed to a $6 million payment to settle. The complaint also charged the inpatient detoxification services provided by the hospital were not medically necessary, and/or failed to meet professionally recognized standards of care, according to the AG's Office. “This settlement holds those institutions accountable for their scheme, and will make providers think twice before defrauding the Medicaid system,” Schneiderman said. William Van Slyke, vice president for marketing and external affairs for CMH, said “Columbia Memorial made no admission of liability as part of the settlement; we have consistently maintained that our actions in this matter were at all times appropriate. The final settlement, while imperfect, represented our best option to bring the matter to a close without incurring the time and expense of further litigation." Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.
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