A company that operates a network of addiction treatment centers has agreed to pay $ 4.5 million to settle allegations that the Massachusetts Medicaid program billed unnecessary urine drug tests conducted illegally in the company’s own laboratory Firm were carried out, officials said Thursday.
CleanSlate Centers, which operates more than 80 facilities in 10 states, including 18 in Massachusetts, will pay $ 3.2 million to the state and $ 1.3 million to the federal government, the company and prosecutors said in separate Explanations with.
“As we are facing a worsening opioid crisis in Massachusetts, it is important that treatment centers follow the rules and not compromise to improve their bottom line,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “Our CleanSlate solution will bring millions of dollars back to the state and implement the necessary oversight to protect patients and prevent these violations from recurring.”
Tennessee-based company CleanSlate, which includes former US MP Patrick Kennedy on the board, denies any wrongdoing, liability or violation of the law, CEO Greg Marotta said in a statement.
“We chose to resolve this case because of the grave economic impact that prolonged litigation would have had on the thousands of individuals and families we serve,” he said.
CleanSlate has served nearly 40,000 Massachusetts residents since 2009 and wants to focus on its primary role.
“We will continue to work tirelessly with the Commonwealth to provide access to mental health and addiction treatment,” he said. “We are determined to move forward from today’s resolution to help more Americans reclaim their lives.”
In their original federal lawsuit, filed in October 2020, the Massachusetts Attorney General alleged that CleanSlate and its former owner charged MassHealth, or companies that manage their patients’ care, $ 54 million. The state has not determined how much of this settlement was fraudulent.
The state alleged that CleanSlate required some patients to undergo a variety of urine drug tests, some of which were medically unnecessary, resulting in false claims being submitted to MassHealth.
The state also said that CleanSlate clinics have been ordered to transfer lab work to their own Holyoke lab, in violation of federal and state self referral laws.
The original complaint also alleged that the former owner engaged in practices that resulted in the backdate of prescriptions for Suboxone – a drug used to treat opioid addiction – which led to the filing of false claims.
The settlement not only resolves the state’s federal lawsuit, but also a whistleblower lawsuit by a former CleanSlate employee, the Attorney General said.