Health clinic owner charged with theft of Medicaid funds

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The owner of a health clinic based in Spokane, Washington, is facing charges of theft and money laundering after investigators alleged fraudulent Medicaid billing totaling more than $5 million since 2017.

The Spokesman-Review reports Paul Means, and his firm Abilia Healthcare, were targeted following an audit of its billing by the Washington State Health Care Authority that revealed irregularities. Investigators believe the proceeds of the scheme, which involved billing the state for intensive, in-person examinations when they were conducted over the internet or not at all, were used to buy a $300,000 home on Spokane’s South Hill and several vehicles.

Means, who has been practicing in the state since 2009 and has no evidence of discipline from the Washington Department of Health, declined to comment on the allegations when reached by the newspaper by phone Wednesday. No attorney was listed in court records as of Wednesday.

Investigators from the Washington Attorney General Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Division have been tracking Means since at least March, according to court records.

They were tipped off by an abnormally large amount of billing codes indicating in-person consultations lasting half an hour or more, many of them at an in-person substance abuse treatment center in Spokane Valley.

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