AG joins suit alleging fraud by addiction treatment company

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts attorney general is joining a lawsuit against a network of addiction treatment facilities and its founder alleging that they charged the state's Medicaid program for unnecessary testing and fraudulently profited from lab tests.

A whistleblower initially brought a case against Dr. Amanda L. Wilson and CleanSlate, a network of addiction treatment offices, in 2017. On Monday, Attorney General Maura Healey announced her office was joining the lawsuit, saying that the company has already admitted that some of the urine drug tests it ordered for patients were medically unnecessary.

In its complaint, the attorney general's office says CleanSlate charged MassHealth, or companies that manage care for its patients, $54 million over the course of years. The lawsuit is seeking the return of at least some of those funds.

“This company’s business model was to illegally profit by cheating our state Medicaid program, which provides vital health care resources to some of our most vulnerable residents,” Healey said. “We will take legal action against this kind of misconduct in order to recover funds for our state and protect the integrity of MassHealth.”

CleanSlate's policy was to send the urine samples to be tested at a lab that it owned in Holyoke, which the attorney general says violates laws against self-dealing.

A spokesperson for the company told the Boston Globe that it saw no reason for Healy's office to intervene in the ongoing case.

“We strongly believe this claim is without merit, and we look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate in court that the care provided to our patients was outstanding and the lab tests that were ordered were medically necessary," the company said in a statement to the newspaper.