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Michigan health care provider accused of fraud scheme

A Michigan autism therapy provider has been accused of running a Medicaid fraud scheme and targeting poor and minority communities in Detroit.

The Detroit Free Press reports that former employees of Centria Healthcare allege the business has engaged in billing fraud, violating patient privacy, forgery, falsifying reports and employing unqualified people in an effort to boost profits.

Centria Healthcare denies any wrongdoing and filed a defamation lawsuit in December against Vanessa Pawlak, the company's former chief compliance officer; Curtis Moore, a former senior sales executive; and another former employee.

The Michigan Attorney General's Office says it's investigating Centria.

Centria was recently awarded an $8 million grant from the state contingent on creating 1,200 jobs in five years. The company provides patients with in-home care including nursing services and rehabilitation.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

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