Lawmakers appeal to Baldacci to settle Nutting Medicaid case

Posted Sept. 05, 2003, at 12 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 22, 2010, at 1 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Five Republican legislators told Gov. John Baldacci on Wednesday that the state should consider a settlement in its case against Robert Nutting, a fellow GOP lawmaker whose pharmacy’s Medicaid payments have been called into question.

The central Maine lawmakers said in a letter to the Democratic governor that a settlement with Rep. Robert Nutting, who owns True’s Pharmacy in Oakland, is “the reasonable course of action in this case.”

The Department of Human Services says Nutting owes at least $876,000 for overbilling state and federal Medicaid programs over five years.

Nutting says the state’s calculations are in error, that his only mistake was an incorrect interpretation of the billing rules, and that he owes only $563,000.

In August, Nutting announced that he intends to close True’s Pharmacy for good on Sept. 26 if no settlement is reached with the state.

Nutting “has agreed to make amends. It is time for the Department of Human Services to meet him halfway,” says the letter signed by Reps. Julie O’Brien of Augusta, Earle McCormick of West Gardiner, Ken Fletcher of Winslow, Maitland Richardson of Skowhegan and William Browne of Vassalboro.

There was no immediate response from Baldacci, whose staff had been furnished with a copy of the letter. A message left with a DHS spokesman was not immediately returned.

The letter to Baldacci said the administration has made it a priority to support small Maine businesses, and adds that state officials “must also have a cooperative attitude that leads to common sense solutions when regulatory or reporting issues arise.”

Because of an “apparent unwillingness” of DHS to reach a settlement with Nutting, “a valued small business that provides good-paying jobs and important health care services in a small Maine town is about to close its doors forever. This is simply unacceptable,” the letter states.

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