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Arkansas opens Medicaid fraud investigation on disability services provider

Managed-care provider, Empower Healthcare Solutions, is being investigated for Medicaid fraud in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that on Wednesday the Medicaid Inspector General's Office sent a letter to Empower, saying they were being investigated for alleged fraudulent payments the company made to some providers and vendors which caused unnecessary costs to the Medicaid program.

Empower provides managed care services for Arkansans with behavioral health disorders or developmental disabilities. Company CEO Mitch Morris said in an email that the company was cooperating with the state's investigation, but denies the allegations.

The Inspector General's Office said the case has been referred to the state Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and that Medicaid payments would be partially suspended to Empower.

Empower is among four of the state's Provider-led Arkansas Shared Savings Entities and is among the largest in the state, servicing around 20,000 people.