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Rita Rich

Lawmakers Issue Critical Report About the Maryland Department of Health's Oversight of Benefits Payments Contractor

The Maryland Department of Health failed to properly oversee a company hired to pay mental health and substance abuse providers, failed to impose penalties for breaches of contract, and skirted state procurement laws, according to a new report from the Office of Legislative Audits.

 A new report from the Office of Legislative Audits, according to the Maryland Daily Record, The Maryland Department of Health failed to properly oversee a company hired to pay mental health and substance abuse providers, failed to impose penalties for breaches of contract, and skirted state procurement laws.

The report, published, today, Friday, October 28 says contractor, Optum and its Minnesota-based United Behavioral Health Inc. company, handled claims for roughly 260,000 people receiving Medicaid benefits for mental health and substance abuse treatment. The lack of oversight has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in potential overpayments and denied or under-reimbursed claims from the Federal government, the audit concluded.

The findings of the auditor are expected to be part of an upcoming legislative hearing, including that $21 million in penalty fees were not levied against the subcontractor.

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