CRC Health Group (CRC) has agreed to pay $9.25 million to settle allegations of TennCare fraud related to its New Life Lodge Facility in Burns, Tennessee, Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today.
The State alleged that between 2006 and 2012 CRC provided substandard services, repeatedly exceeded its state-licensed patient capacity, and caused third party pharmacies to bill the TennCare program for prescription drugs that New Life Lodge was obligated to provide to TennCare beneficiaries as part of their TennCare-paid per diem. The settlement is the result of a joint investigation between the State of Tennessee and the United States. The recovery will be divided between the state and federal governments with the State of Tennessee slated to receive approximately $3.4 million...read the New Life Lodge release.
The maker of some nationally-touted flavored malt beverages, including "Four Loko," has agreed to alter its manufacturing and marketing practices as a result of a multistate agreement, Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today.
The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance Tennessee filed today on behalf of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, is part of an agreement between 19 other Attorneys General and the City Attorney of San Francisco with Phusion Projects, LLC. Also named in the agreement were the company's officers Jaisen Freeman, Christopher Hunter, and Jeffrey Wright. At issue were allegations that Phusion marketed and sold flavored malt beverages, including Four Loko, in violation of various consumer protection laws by allegedly promoting Four Loko beverages to underage persons and promoting dangerous and excessive consumption of the products. The agreement also addresses allegations that the company promoted the misuse of its products without disclosing the effects and consequences of drinking alcoholic beverages combined with caffeine. Additionally, the settlement addresses Phusion's practice of manufacturing, marketing, and selling unsafe and adulterated caffeinated alcoholic beverages prior to the FDA's November 2010 letter warning Phusion that caffeinated Four Loko is an unsafe product...read the Four Loko release.
Tennesseans will begin receiving account credits or checks this week in a partial agreement resolving an E-book price-fixing lawsuit brought by Attorney General Bob Cooper and attorneys general from 32 other states.
The lawsuit, calling for $166 million nationwide payment, was brought against Apple, Inc. and five of the six largest E-book publishers in the country three years ago. Those E-book publishers are Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, d/b/a Macmillan, and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Tennessee's share is approximately $2.8 million The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has now approved those agreements after finding they conspired to restrain trade in violation of federal and state laws...read the E-books release.
Intended to address widespread foreclosure abuses that occurred at the height of the housing crisis, the National Mortgage Settlement reached a major milestone this week. Joe Smith, the settlement monitor, announced that all five of the named banks have satisfied their consumer relief and refinancing obligations under the agreement. In total, the banks provided more than $50 million in credited relief nationwide, which translates to $20 billion in gross relief under the joint state-federal settlement.
Tennessee received an estimated $240 million in relief including $180 million in refinances, principal reductions, and approved short sales. Under the terms of the settlement, the majority of the credited relief went to help homeowners lower their mortgage payments and take them out of foreclosure. Over 4,000 Tennessee homeowners received some type of assistance under the settlement with an average individual benefit estimated at over $40,000...read the mortgage release.
The A.I.M. Center, Inc. (AIM), which operates a community mental health facility located in Chattanooga, Tenn., has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle allegations that it violated the federal False Claims Act (FCA) and the Tennessee Medicaid False Claims Act (TNMFCA). This settlement resolves an investigation into AIM's billing practices which began with the filing of an action by a former member of the facility on behalf of the United States and the State of Tennessee under the qui tam, also known as whistle-blower, provisions of both the FCA and the TNMFCA. The United States and the State of Tennessee subsequently filed a joint intervention complaint.
As a result of a joint federal and state investigation, the government alleged in the joint complaint that, from 2009 through 2012, the AIM Center knowingly submitted numerous false claims to the TennCare/Medicaid program by overcharging for psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR) services provided to TennCare/Medicaid facility members. Specifically, the government alleged that the AIM Center engaged in a practice commonly known as "upcoding" by submitting claims for services that were more lengthy and more expensive than the services actually provided. For example, the AIM Center submitted claims for a full day (per diem) of PSR services for TennCare/Medicaid members even when the members spent as little as 5 minutes to an hour at the facility...read the A.I.M. Center release.