State suspends 16 Medi-Cal drug treatment centers

12:32 PM, Jul 18, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - State health care officials say they are temporarily suspending 16 California alcohol and drug treatment centers that are suspected of violations.  

The allegations include hiring people who were convicted of abusing patients and bilking Medi-Cal for services they never performed.  

Department of Health Care Services Director Toby Douglas said Thursday that he is referring the centers to the state Department of Justice for further investigation. Douglas oversees Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid health insurance program for the poor.  

Some centers are suspected of hiring people who have been convicted of defrauding the government or neglecting or abusing patients. Others are being investigated for performing unnecessary procedures or fraudulently billing the Medi-Cal drug program.  

The state will not identify the centers and will not pay them until the investigation is complete.

The Associated Press

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