Baltimore, Maryland – Maryland Treatment Centers has agreed to pay the United States $500,000 to settle allegations under the False Claims Act that it submitted false claims to the United States for mental health and substance abuse services that were undocumented or not provided. Maryland Treatment Centers, including its affiliate Mountain Manor Treatment Centers, offers mental health and substance abuse services to children and adults in outpatient and inpatient locations in Maryland, including Baltimore and Rockville.
The settlement agreement was announced today by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, Maureen Dixon; and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.
Maryland Treatment Centers presents claims to and is paid by health insurance plans, including Medicaid. According to the settlement agreement, from January 1, 2009 through October 31, 2013, Maryland Treatment Centers knowingly failed to comply with the Code of Maryland Regulations (“COMAR”). Specifically, Maryland Treatment Centers submitted claims for substance abuse and/or mental health services for which Maryland Treatment Centers failed to document in any way the services allegedly provided; failed to document properly the services allegedly provided to recipients by writing daily progress notes and placing them in the recipients’ charts; failed to document that recipients attended, participated and/or received the services allegedly rendered; and documented procedures on patient progress notes that were inconsistent with procedures for which Maryland Treatment Centers claimed Medicaid reimbursement, and which Medicaid paid.
The claim resolved by this settlement is an allegation. The settlement is not an admission of liability by Maryland Treatment Centers, nor a concession by the United States that its claims are not well founded.
Also as part of the settlement, Maryland Treatment Centers has agreed to enter into an expansive, three-year Integrity Agreement with the HHS Office of Inspector General that provides for procedures and reviews to be put in place to avoid and promptly detect conduct similar to that which gave rise to the settlement.
The civil settlement resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and obtain a portion of the government's recovery. The civil lawsuit was filed in the District of Maryland and is captioned United States ex rel. Blackwell v. Maryland Treatment Centers, et al., ELH-13-3550. As part of today’s resolution, Ms. Blackwell will receive $75,000 from the settlement.
The civil settlement was reached by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland and the Office of the Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for the State of Maryland. The Integrity Agreement was negotiated by the Office of the Counsel to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the HHS Office of Inspector General and the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur also thanked Assistant United States Attorney Roann Nichols, who handled this case.
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