Acadia Healthcare inks $17M deal to settle billing fraud allegations

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Franklin, Tenn.-based Acadia Healthcare has entered into a $17 million settlement to resolve allegations its drug treatment centers in West Virginia submitted fraudulent claims for reimbursement to the state's Medicaid program, according to the Department of Justice.

Acadia's treatment centers in West Virginia are operated through a subsidiary called CRC Health and are certified by CMS to perform uncomplicated "waived" laboratory testing only. Between Jan. 1, 2012, and July 31, 2018, those treatment centers sent urine and blood samples to a laboratory in San Diego for all moderate and high complexity testing, and then billed West Virginia's Medicaid program for those lab services, according to the Justice Department.

In the claims submitted to West Virginia's Medicaid program, Acadia's treatment centers allegedly said they had performed the moderate and high complexity testing. Medicaid paid the treatment centers more than the lab in San Diego charged to actually perform the testing, according to the Justice Department.

Through the scheme, Acadia's treatment centers allegedly defrauded Medicaid of $8.5 million.

"In this case, every dime in false billings was doubled for a total settlement that represents twice the harm caused," U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said in a press release. "This is a strong message and a massive penalty. The message is clear — if you are cheating the system and we find you, you'll not only pay for the damage done but far more. This is a message of deterrence to other would-be fraudsters."

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