OptumHealth accused of Medicaid fraud in 3 lawsuits

(Stock image/MGN)

SANTA FE (AP) – A health care company that tried to root out fraud in New Mexico’s Medicaid program now faces three lawsuits claiming that it was committing Medicaid fraud itself.

The New Mexican reports that the lawsuits filed against OptumHealth Inc. say the company mishandled Medicaid payments to mental health providers.

In one lawsuit, a former OptumHealth employee claims she was fired for reporting concerns about possible Medicaid fraud.

OptumHealth spokeswoman Lauren Mihajlov says the company rejects the allegations in the lawsuits.

OptumHealth’s efforts to root out waste in the system led New Mexico to suddenly suspend payments to 15 providers in June 2013. The providers treated low-income patients for mental illness or addiction.

Three years later, 13 of the 15 providers have been exonerated of criminal wrongdoing by the state Attorney General’s Office.

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