State Appeals Ruling In Favor of Idaho Mental Health Provider

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The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare still wants the license pulled from an Eastern Idaho mental health provider, accused of bilking the state in excessive Medicaid payments.

Chubbock-based Seasons of Hope had its license revoked and its Medicaid funding cut off in April when Health and Welfare investigators said the provider had improperly billed the state for more than $400,000. Seasons of Hope, with offices in Chubbock, American Falls, Burley, Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Preston and Twin Falls, ended up laying off 100 employees.

But in June, an administrative judge restored the license and cleared the provider of fraud. The judge also ordered Seasons of Hope to repay more than $94,000 in Medicaid payments.

"We think Seasons of Hope owes taxpayers much more than that," Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan told the Associated Press, saying the agency was appealing the judge's decision.

Health and Welfare initially asked the judge to order Seasons of Hope to pay back more than $439,000 in overpayments and pay an $18,000 fine.

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