California Palms receives Medicaid cease and desist order


AUSTINTOWN — California Palms Addiction Recovery Campus received a cease- and-desist letter from the Ohio Department of Medicaid today.

Palms owner Sebastian Rucci said he was informed of the letter by 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner.

“We immediately contacted [the department of Medicaid] and said we’d be happy to correct any errors,” Rucci said.

The letter is concerned with the use of the phrase “currently an Ohio Medicaid provider” on California Palms’ website, stating it was used as recently as Jan. 15, the television station reported.

Rucci claimed the website contained no “direct Medicaid statements,” but the word “Medicaid” was used on an affiliated blog.

According to the Ohio Department of Medicaid, California Palms applied for the service on March 20, 2017, but lacked certification through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, a requirement for recovery centers planning to offer Medicaid coverage.

“It was a premature application,” Rucci said. “It was dead on arrival. We’re not claiming we’re approved with Medicaid.”

He said California Palms accepts coverage from CareSource and Molina Healthcare, but the department of Medicaid’s letter claims the recovery center is not contracted with CareSource.

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