An Anchorage nonprofit that serves people with developmental or intellectual disabilities has agreed to settle allegations about false Medicaid claims.
The Arc of Anchorage will pay the Alaska Medicaid Program nearly $2.3 million, according to a statement the Alaska Department of Law released Tuesday.
"The state contends the Arc submitted or authorized the submission of false claims to the Alaska Medicaid Program," the statement said. "Specifically, the state contends the Arc billed for services not provided, and billed for overlapping services with the same provider. The state further contends that the Arc failed to repay money owed to the Medicaid Program identified in audits performed by the Arc."
The Arc received formal notice that an investigation was underway in May 2016, the nonprofit said in an emailed statement Tuesday.
The organization's current CEO, Barbara Rodriguez-Rath, was not in her current role when the billing problems occurred, the statement said. The billings in question happened between 2012 and 2016.
As part of the settlement agreement, the Arc of Anchorage is also required to enter into a five-year "corporate integrity agreement" with the Office of the Inspector General to prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the future.
"The board was fully informed about this issue and it has been a trying time, but we have confidence that our current leadership has initiated needed reforms," Wes Clubb, president of the Arc's board of directors, said in the statement. "The board and management are working as a team to preserve and protect the mission of The Arc."
The Arc has already taken steps "to improve internal financial management systems, including additional financial reporting and more frequent auditing of Medicaid billing practices," the nonprofit's statement said.
"The Arc acknowledges past billing errors that violated rules and procedures," the statement said. "The Arc would also like to make it clear that there was never any deliberate attempt to defraud the state by submitting information we knew to be inaccurate."
The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the Alaska Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Office of Inspector General, the Alaska Medicaid Program and the Arc of Anchorage.
"The goal of this resolution was to make the Alaska Medicaid Program whole, keep the Arc in business, and send a strong message of deterrence to other providers. I believe the agreement accomplishes these goals," Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth said in a written statement. The settlement also means avoiding prolonged litigation, she said.