LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced an almost $8 million dollar civil settlement with Empower Healthcare Solutions, LLC (Empower). The false claims settlement was based on a joint investigation conducted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The investigation was initiated after the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Arkansas Medicaid Inspector General raised questions concerning how Empower was reporting expenses in 2020.
“As long as I am Attorney General, I will aggressively go after those who overbill or steal from Medicaid,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Over the past seven years, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has obtained 155 convictions and over $43 Million in monetary compensation for the people of Arkansas.”
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found that $10,363,511 had been improperly reported and that the reporting violated the Arkansas Medicaid False Claims Act. Empower cooperated fully with the investigation and maintains that any improper reporting was unintentional but agreed to modify its reporting and to pay the state of Arkansas one million dollars in civil penalties and costs. In addition to the $1 million in civil penalties and costs, the adjustments to the report of expenses in 2020 will result in a $6,983,511 increase in Empower’s 2020 year end reconciliation payment to the Arkansas Medicaid Program. The combined recovery from the settlement was $7,983,511.
Medicaid false claims occur when a provider knowingly submits information to the Medicaid Program to be used in determining the provider’s right to a benefit or payment. To report Medicaid fraud, false claims or to abuse of any Medicaid recipient by a Medicaid provider, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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