A company accused of over $400,000 worth of Medicaid fraud has finished making its case to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and it's expected Seasons of Hope will have some be able to clear its name.
The attorney for Seasons of Hope, Eric Lind, issued the following news release Friday: "The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s allegations of Fraud against Seasons of Hope have been dismissed by verbal order at the Administrative Hearing. The Hearing Officer issued his verbal order on the record at the conclusion of the hearing on Thursday, June 6, 2013 and the order will be reduced to writing within the next couple of weeks. We realize that the Department’s March 28, 2013 action against Seasons of Hope had a deep impact on many of our hard working employees who lost their jobs and many of our loyal clients who lost the services we provided. We hope that this will be good news to those who have been adversely affected by this case. The case was decided by an experienced District Court Judge who listened to nine (9) full days of evidence. Seasons of Hope is pleased that our name has been cleared from the allegations of fraud."
KPVI reached out to Tom Shanahan, Public Information Manager with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, to confirm this ruling. He said the department was reluctant to speak specifically about the case until the written ruling comes down from the hearing officer. But he did want to clarify the state's position. Shanahan said the appeals hearing was never a criminal action. It was a hearing simply to determine if Health and Welfare had credible allegations of fraud to warrant suspending the provider agreement for Seasons of Hope and trying to collect over payments and penalties. Shanahan also said that the hearing officer verbally ruled that the State did have enough evidence to support those actions. He also said the State anticipated recovering over $100,000 in overpayments and penalties but that the specifics of the order would not be known until the written ruling comes down. That ruling will also determine if the provider agreement between the State and Seasons of Hope can resume.
Back in April, Seasons of Hope had its provider agreement terminated after the department believed it had found credible allegations of fraud in a review of cases from June 2010 to January 2013.
Shanahan says the hearing officer has 30 days to rule on the case, unless he asks for additional information. He also says the department will not comment on specifics of the case.