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Feds, State Sue Matteson Counseling Center For Defrauding Medicaid

CHICAGO (CBS) -- State and federal authorities have filed a lawsuit accusing a south suburban youth counseling center of defrauding Medicare out of millions of dollars.

The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by the federal government and the state of Illinois, accuses the Matteson-based Laynie Foundation Inc. and its owners, Summer Matheson and Terrence Ewing, of violating the federal False Claims Act by overbilling Medicaid for mental health counseling services.

The foundation allegedly billed Medicaid for more mental health counseling services than it actually provided, according to the suit. Matheson and Ewing are accused of directing employees to inflate the services provided and seek Medicaid payments for non-reimbursable activities like internal case reviews, staff training, clinical supervision and recordkeeping.

In addition to the billing scheme, the suit also claims the Laynie Foundation failed to have a licensed mental health professional certify that the foundation's services were medically necessary and met professional standards.

Between January 2012 and February 2016, the foundation submitted about $8.2 million in claims to Medicaid and received about $6.3 million in payments for those claims, prosecutors said. The suit is seeking damages between $5,500 and $11,000 for each violation.

Representatives for the Laynie Foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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