State officials say dozens of behavioral health and sober living homes have perpetrated a years-long Medicaid fraud scheme.
Gov. Katie Hobbs, Attorney General Kris Mayes, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System Director Carmen Heredia, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community President Martin Harvier and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Stone announced the findings Tuesday morning in Phoenix.
Hobbs said the alleged crimes amount to “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Patients primarily from reservations, she said, were enticed with food and shelter only to be encouraged into continuing their addictions while the facilities billed Medicaid for care that never happened.
“For years, these providers have allegedly defrauded the state of millions of dollars while creating a large-scale humanitarian crisis that disproportionately affects Arizona’s tribal communities,” Hobbs said Monday. “People have had to escape out of windows and jump over fences in the middle of the night just to access a phone to reach the outside world.”
Hobbs said payments to these facilities saw state payments stopped Monday and that she directed AHCCCS to implement additional safeguards.
The alleged fraud took place largely on tribal land to deceive state officials.