Braking Point unable to treat Ohio Medicaid patients


By Jordyn Grzelewski

jgrzelewski@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Braking Point Recovery Center, which is the subject of a federal investigation, no longer will accept Ohio Medicaid patients, according to a letter that went out to Ohio Medicaid beneficiaries.

Local and state mental health and recovery officials are working to coordinate other treatment options for those who might be affected by the disruption.

“The most important thing is, we don’t want people to panic,” said Duane Piccirilli, Mahoning County Mental Health & Recovery Board executive director. “We’ve reached out to our network of agencies and told them to expect a possible influx of patients.”

Local mental health and recovery officials said patients receiving detox, medication-assisted treatment and outpatient services at Braking Point could be affected. The detox program has 16 beds, but officials did not know how many medication-assisted treatment or outpatient clients Braking Point serves.

“The major concern is the detox clients because they are in the middle of a three- to seven-day medical-monitored course of treatment,” said Brenda Heidinger, Mahoning County Mental Health & Recovery Board associate director. “We want to make sure we don’t endanger them in any way.”

Officials said Neil Kennedy Recovery Centers accepted at least six of Braking Point’s detox patients Thursday. The mental health and recovery board contacted several other local treatment providers as well.

Officials said people affected by the change should call their providers or the board, which can be reached at 330-746-2959.

In its letter to beneficiaries, the Ohio Department of Medicaid urged people to take one of following actions: Contact your case manager if you are enrolled with a Medicaid managed-care plan, or search for alternative service providers on the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s website and search by county.

The phone numbers for Medicaid managed-care plans are:

Buckeye: 1-866-246-4358

Caresource: 1-800-488-0134

Molina: 1-800-642-4168

Paramount: 1-800-462-3589

United: 1-800-895-2017

For assistance, call the Ohio Medicaid Consumer Hotline at 1-800-324-8680.

Federal and state investigators served search warrants Wednesday at three locations associated with Braking Point. Searches were conducted at BPRC’s Austintown and Columbus-area location and at owner Ryan Sheridan’s Leetonia residence. The investigation is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An FBI spokeswoman said the search warrants were sealed and declined to provide any details about the investigation.

The “joint ongoing investigation” also involves the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Ohio Pharmacy Board and the Ohio Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The FBI asks that anyone with information or concerns about Braking Point call its Cleveland office at 216-522-1400.

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