New York hospital owes $7 million for fraudulent mental health claims
October 26, 2012
VALHALLA, N.Y. – Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla will have to cough up $7 million for submitting false reimbursement claims to Medicaid from 2001 to June 2010, under a civil fraud settlement announced by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for the Southern District of New York.
Bharara said the Medical Center billed Medicaid for outpatient mental health services at its Behavioral Health Center without providing proper documentation.
“Medicaid is a vital resource for people who suffer from physical and mental illnesses and related conditions,” Bharara said in a statement. "We have absolutely no tolerance for those who fail to comply with the program, particularly in these lean times when budgets are stretched thin and belts are being tightened.”
Westchester Medical Center representatives were not immediately available for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Federal regulations require facilities like WMC to submit documents such as treatment plans and progress notes, which WMC did not, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Medicaid costs are shared by federal and state governments. As part of the settlement, WMC will pay an undisclosed portion of the $7 million to New York State.
WMC's Behavioral Health Center is a public facility that treats children, adolescents and adults who suffer from mental and emotional issues.
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