Shortly after taking office, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that the State of Ohio would receive $10 million in a $26 million settlement his office had reached with CareSource, a Dayton area company that was accused of Medicaid fraud.
According to Republican DeWine, CareSource billed the state for services it failed to provide to children with special health care needs and adults. CareSource denied any wrongdoing, but paid $26 million to settle the case. However, CareSource’s denial did not stop DeWine from declaring CareSource guilty:
“Medicaid program dollars need to be used to do what they are intended to do — and that is to provide health care to some of our most vulnerable citizens. Ohio taxpayers should expect no less,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “The defendants in this case defrauded the state’s Medicaid program by failing to provide critical health care services, which is both unconscionable and unacceptable.”
One year later, JobsOhio buries in its Q2 report that one of the companies it helped earlier this year was CareSource. (See page 5.)
Because of the lack of transparency in JobsOhio, we don’t know the amount or the purpose of the state assistance is being given to a company that paid Ohio $10 million to settle claims of fraud from Ohio’s Attorney General. And we likely never will.
This isn’t the first time that Kasich’s economic development team gave financial assistance for a company that had recently settled litigation concern widespread entitlement fraud.
Back in September 2011, the Kasich Administration was crowing about the first company it had lured to Ohio: Omnicare, which is NOT apparently the health care subsidiary of the RoboCop company OmniCorp. It was, however, a company the Kasich Administration lured back across the Ohio River with gave $8 million in tax breaks even though this was the company’s recent history:
The company agreed to pay the state of Michigan $52.5 million in 2006 on accusations of Medicaid fraud, the largest in state history. Specialized Pharmacy Services Inc., a subsidiary of Omnicare, also was involved; its president, Daniel Lohmeier, was charged with 148 felony counts, each punishable by up to four years in prison. He pleaded no contest to reduced charges.
Last year, Omnicare agreed to pay $21.1 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit, $11.6 million to Michigan and $9.5 million to Massachusetts. The states alleged Omnicare defrauded Medicaid programs by overcharging the agency for drugs.
Omnicare denied the allegations and isn’t acknowledging any liability.
The company also paid $385,000 to David Kammerer, who filed the initial lawsuit against Omnicare in August 2003, for his expenses and attorney’s fees. [Source: Columbus Dispatch]
OmniCare has been pingponging back and forth across the Ohio River since 1998 by pitting Ohio economic development agencies against Northern Kentucky ones. Despite it’s recent past of paying out millions to settlement claims of Medicaid fraud, the Kasich Administration bent over backwards to essentially give it free rent in Cincinnati.
We were able to learn that because it occurred BEFORE JobsOhio took over. We don’t know, however, what the Administration gave to CareSource, a business the State’s Republican Attorney General had just said committed Medicaid fraud by billing for medical services for special health needs kids.
Governor Kasich has indicated that he may not allow uninsured, poor Ohioans to take advantage of President Obama’s optional expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”) because the State may not be able to afford it, even though there’d be no cost to the State for the rest of his term. Yet, he has no problems having the State of Ohio apparently subsidize what companies pay for settling claims of Medicaid fraud?
2014 can’t come soon enough for Ohio.
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