Broward County, Fla., AIDS Clinic Reopens After One-Day Closure Due to Medicaid Fraud Investigation
The Broward County, Fla.-based HIV/AIDS agency Community Healthcare/Center One reopened yesterday, one day after state Medicaid fraud investigators confiscated patient medical records as part of an investigation into whether the agency committed Medicaid fraud, the Miami Herald reports (Rhor, Miami Herald, 8/16). Investigators have not disclosed details of the inquiry, stating only that they are conducting a criminal investigation of the agency's Medicaid billing practices (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/15). Lawyers for Community Healthcare/Center One filed a complaint in court over the manner in which the patient records were taken, stating that it was "unnecessarily disruptive and threatened patient confidentiality." Sharon Kegerreis, an attorney representing the agency, said, "The process used by the state violates the sacrosanct confidentiality, particularly where you have medical records of patients afflicted by AIDS. ... There are competing interests between the need for the state to do an investigation and confidentiality concerns" (Miami Herald, 8/16). Community Healthcare/Center One Chair Steve Steiner added that the clinic cannot treat people with HIV/AIDS without patient records. State prosecutors agreed in court yesterday to make copies of the confiscated records so that the clinic can treat patients. Steiner added that the agency "runs a clean operation" and that Medicaid funds account for only one-fifth of its revenue (LaMendola, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 8/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.