Maine Medicaid wraps up state rep

Sunday, August 31, 2003

OAKLAND, Maine - Bob Nutting may be a state representative, but it’s not getting him any place in his fight with Medicaid, which wants his company, True’s Pharmacy, to repay $850,000.

“Unless something is decided by the end of next week, we’ll be out of business by the first week in September,” Nutting, 56, told HME News in late July.

Nutting’s problems started about two years ago when the state Department of Human Services (Medicaid) performed a random audit on True’s Pharmacy, the largest provider of incontinence supplies in the state. Following the review, auditors said True’s overbilled Medicaid $1.2 million over five years.

Nutting doesn’t dispute that his company may have made some billing mistakes, but not to the extent the state claims.

The state has since recalculated how much Nutting owes Medicaid - using the “most beneficial” calculation possible for True’s - and the number now stands at $850,000, said Department of Human Service (DHS) spokesman Newell Auger.

“We would much rather settle this amicably,” Auger said.

The state recouped $250,000 prior to Nutting quitting the Medicaid program last December. So to settle the case, Nutting needs to pay the state $600,000. He’s willing to repay $150,000 to $200,000.

When Nutting stopped doing Medicaid business in December, his revenue dropped by 55% and he laid off eight of his 23 employees. Despite those cuts, his location is still too big for the amount of business True’s now does, and he has too many vehicles. He doesn’t, however, have the heart for further downsizing. “The hardest thing I’ve ever done was pick eight people and tell them to go home,” Nutting said. “Rather than do that again, the next time people go home, we’ll all go home.” HME