Mental health agency paying $7M to settle fraud claims
JACKSON, Miss. - One of Mississippi's regional mental health boards is paying nearly $7 million over claims that it bilked Medicaid for services to preschoolers that were either substandard or not provided at all.
U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst announced the settlement of the whistleblower lawsuit Thursday.
Region 8 Mental Health Services will pay the money after a former employee, Julie Farmer, filed the False Claims Act lawsuit on behalf of the government in 2009. She'll get $1.25 million of the $6.93 million. Some of the money will also go to Mississippi state government to repay the state's share of the state-federal Medicaid program.
Hurst says an investigation found fraud in billings from 2004 to 2010. He says it's the largest False Claims Act health care settlement ever in Mississippi.