Thursday, December 14, 2017

Region 8 busted for $7 million fraud

The Justice Department issued the following statement.

Mental Health Facility to Pay Almost $7 Million to Resolve Fraud Allegations

Jackson, Miss - Region 8 Mental Health Services has agreed to pay the United States government in excess of $6.93 million under the False Claims Act to resolve allegations that it was paid for services that it either did not provide or that were not provided by qualified individuals as part of its preschool Day Treatment program, announced United States Attorney Mike Hurst and Derrick Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. Today’s announcement is believed to be the largest False Claims Act healthcare settlement in the history of the State of Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Mental Health reports that nearly 35,000 Mississippi children and adolescents suffer mental health issues that are “severe and persistent.” Day Treatment is defined by Medicaid as “a behavioral intervention program, provided in the context of a therapeutic milieu, which provides children/adolescents with serious emotional disturbances the intensity treatment necessary to enable them to live in the community.” Day Treatment services covered by Medicaid provide a vital service to the citizens of Mississippi, enabling the State’s youth to live productive lives and grow to become healthy, productive adults.

Region 8, a regional community health center covering Copiah, Lincoln, Madison, Rankin and Simpson Counties, operated a Day Treatment program for preschool age children. During its investigation, the United States Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, discovered that many of the claims submitted for payment from 2004 to 2010 were for services that were either not provided or were not provided by qualified individuals.

“Our children are among the most valuable and vulnerable in our society, and it is imperative that we do all that we can to protect the programs that offer them the services that they need,” says U.S. Attorney Hurst. The Office of the United States Attorney says that it continues to increase its efforts to investigate allegations of fraud and protect the federal programs serving the citizens of this State and country. “The work we do in combatting waste, fraud and abuse in government programs is among some of the most important work this office does, and we will continue to vigorously investigate all allegations of fraud,” says U.S. Attorney Hurst.

Derrick Jackson, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, adds, “It is imperative that these children receive the behavioral intervention services they need. We will continue to monitor Region 8 Mental Health Services to ensure the organization is providing intervention services by qualified staff and properly billing Medicaid.”

The allegations settled today arose from a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower, who was a former employee of the company, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Under the False Claims Act, private citizens can bring suit on behalf of the government for false claims and share in any recovery. Such private citizens are referred to as relators. The relator in this case will receive more than $1 million from the recovery announced today. The case is styled United States v. Madison-Simpson-Copiah Mental Health Commission Region 8, et al., 3:09cv441- HTW-LRA (S.D. Miss.).

The investigation and settlement were the result of a coordinated effort by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. There were also significant contributions to the investigation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The United States government was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Angela Givens Williams, with contribution from Auditor Kim Mitchell. The Mississippi Division of Medicaid will receive a portion of the settlement in proportion to its contribution to the Medicaid fund.

Moving forward, Region 8 will be subject to oversight under its Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. This agreement is designed to increase accountability and transparency and prevent future fraud and abuse.

The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.


Anonymous said...

Who are the principals and others responsible? I am part of the public and want to know. After all, part of that money came from me.

Anonymous said...

Where did the money go.....................?

Did someone involved in administration get rich or was it all paid out in bonuses ??????????????????

WOW---no wonder Mississippi is known as the most corrupt state in the nation..............

Anonymous said...

Looking at their website, it's unclear if they are a private company or a government agency. Anyone out there know?

Anonymous said...

Agreed to pay back $6.93 million... where does this money come from and that covers 2004 - 2010. What about 2010 to date?

Anonymous said...

Dave Vann is the Executive Director and Emile Craig is his right hand man

Anonymous said...

I believe Region 8 (and similar regional MH entities) is a non-profit under contract with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. Their funds would have to be Medicare and/or Medicare money to support federal jurisdiction under the False Claims Act. Thus, these are tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Region 8 is a quasi state entity. They receive funds from the Department of Mental Health and bill Medicare and Medicaid. Dave Vann has been trying to undermine the ED of DMH and take her job by kissing up to the Governor. Vann needs to step down or be fired. Who knows who he reports to?

Anonymous said...

Region eight is a Quasi state entity -it takes money from the Department of mental health and bills Medicare and Medicaid. Who does Dave Van report to? Please read the ridiculous quote attributed to him on their website. Is it true that he has been gunning for Diane Mikula’s job as the head of DMH?

Anonymous said...

"The Mississippi Department of Mental Health reports that nearly 35,000 Mississippi children and adolescents suffer mental health issues that are “severe and persistent.”

That amounts to only one side of Vaught Hemingway Stadium. The "Home" side.

Anonymous said...

Mikula is a joke. She's undermined herself.

Anonymous said...

Isn’t Dave Vann an MLB umpire on the side as well?

Pappy Odaniel said...

Isn't Dave Van the same guy that has a business interest in a used car dealership and a defunct Magnolia Behavioral Health Care with Cecil McCrory?

Anonymous said...

$7M to cronies? and now $7M payback = $14!!!

Anonymous said...

Who is on their Board of Directors? Who do these people answer to?

Anonymous said...

@2:04 yep....they have a decent relationship.

Anonymous said...

Dave Van and Cecil McCrory also lied to Rankin County law to get a man arrested at the Houston Airport and detained over Christmas in 2013. Van was quoted as telling the child(11) of the man locked up that his father had F****d with the wrong people. This was all over a lease purchase of a motor home that Cecil and Van wanted the guy to file an insurance claim on due to wear and tear but wanted him to file it under vandalism.

Larry Reyes v. Delux Auto Sales, Inc

Anonymous said...

Mississippi GOP is always talking about reigning in government spending and cutting the deficit but there has never been a federal grant, handout or payoff they wouldn't gladly accept. It's how all of their do nothing supporters live large.

Anonymous said...

While genuinely mentally ill persons cannot get into Whitfield and the suicidal cannot get much help and people who need drug treatment wait in line, day care is absorbing this much money and Oxford Houses are being funded by our mental health department.

Anonymous said...

How much of this is Taxpayer $$ from any county ?

Anonymous said...

Who is actually paying the money back? No one gets indicted?

Anonymous said...

Dave Van needs to be investigated. He is in the middle of this corruption. As an employee in Brandon, I know he has enriched himself at the expense of tax payers. While we worry about our jobs, Dave just keeps filling his pockets.

Anonymous said...

Look. We know Dave Vann is there. Would the one Vann hater - the one who spent a good part of yesterday posting about him and posing the 'questions' about who he is - do us a favor and take all your comments today and put them into one big post, rather than spreading them out thru your short snippets?

Anonymous said...

7:17: Good morning Dave.

Anonymous said...

Uncovering this "incidence" of corruption is only the tiny tip of the iceberg in Mississippi. How many other pots of money have been falsely drawn down from the feds? Billions. It's why Pickering is ramping up his office.....otherwise they might come calling on him to know who was minding the store. Taxpayer $$$ are POURING out the door.....and yes, with nairn' an indictment. Flacid oversight at best Stacey.

Anonymous said...

Seven million dollars and Dave opts to settle???? Seven million dollars???? WTF Dave? You are responsible Dave. You knew Dave. Didn’t you see the balance sheets? Did you not see that increase in revenue as suspicious? And now you claim ignorance and blame your staff who are afraid to lose their jobs and have been intimidated into unethical behavior. Step down Dave. You are guilty son. And how does a community mental health center have that much money on hand? Is it true that you are compensated over $350k yearly? Speak up Dave.

Anonymous said...

It’s so much deeper than this with Dave Van. He needs to be investigated to the fullest extent. Even as far as looking at how some of the football field and “largest mega-tron in high school sports” was funded.

Wowzer said...

You'd thing somebody done picked up an old piece of mobile home siding off the ground down around Puckett and found a nest of copperheads this story is becoming so venomous!

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