California Palms receives Medicaid cease-and-desist letter


Staff report

AUSTINTOWN

California Palms Addiction Recovery Campus, 1051 N. Canfield-Niles Road, received a cease-and-desist letter Friday from the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

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 Friday.

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. That phrase is no longer on the website.

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 March 20, 2017, but it 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 also is not contracted with CareSource.

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