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Mental health facility settles on Medicaid fraud claims

February 19, 2014
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Deal ends three-year probe of Chattanooga's AIM Center

The AIM Center (Chattanooga, Tenn.), a National Council member, has agreed to pay $800,000 after a state and federal investigation that looked into reports that the mental health facility was making fraudulent claims to the state's Medicaid program for more than three years, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. 

The investigation took off in 2011 after a former AIM Center member filed a whistle-blower lawsuit that the organization was improperly billing TennCare for his visits. For example, the investigation showed that the AIM Center billed 52 occasions for this individual to TennCare and zero of these visits were billed for the actual services he received. Also, government officials are claiming that the organization participated in "double billing" during this period as well. 

The article also states:

"In one example, the AIM Center filed claims for a full day of rehabilitation services for TennCare members, even though the members spent as little as 5 minutes to an hour at the center, government officials said."

The AIM Center's president, Rodney Battles, is standing up for the organization and says that "the billings to TennCare were all in line with the center's contract with the state," according to the article. 

In a statement on the organization's website, Battles says, "Services provided by the AIM Center were never interrupted or will be limited as a result of the agreement. The government did not claim the AIM Center failed to provide services to their members or that the services provided were unnecessary." 

Battles says the reason the organization has chosen to settle is simply to avoid the expenses of a legal battle in court.

Besides the $800,000, the settlement also required that the AIM Center be monitored through a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the federal government to ensure that it is complying with the correct terms of benefits programs. 

Read the source article at Chattanooga News

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