DHHS stops paying Augusta-area case management firms after fraud allegation

Posted Sept. 29, 2013, at 4:59 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 29, 2013, at 10:38 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Health and Human Services has stopped paying two central Maine businesses after “a credible allegation of fraud” was lodged, the Kennebec Journal reported Friday.

That has left more than 500 MaineCare recipients in central Maine to seek services elsewhere while an investigation into the practices of Umbrella Mental Health Services and Anglez Behavioral Health Services goes forward, John Martins, spokesman for DHHS, told the Augusta-based newspaper.

Efforts to reach Martins over the weekend by telephone and email were unsuccessful.

The businesses, whose clients primarily live in Kennebec and Lincoln counties, offer case management services, according to the KJ article. Those services include help for MaineCare recipients to access medical, social, educational and mental health services as well as medication management.

Clients were informed last week by letter that their previous providers might not be able to continue serving them, the KJ said. The MaineCare recipients also were given names and phone numbers for providers who are taking new patients.

Information about whether the fraud investigation was being handled by state or federal agencies was not available over the weekend. Details about investigations rarely are made public until charges are filed by either the Maine Attorney General’s Office or the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A Rapid Response Team from the Department of Labor was expected Monday to be at the Umbrellas Mental Health Services office in Augusta to speak with employees, the Augusta paper reported.

Information about the number of people employed at the businesses was not available Sunday.

Efforts to reach Julie Rabinowitz, spokeswoman for the DOL, were unsuccessful over the weekend.

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