- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State and federal authorities have reached a $3.2 million settlement with Syracuse-based St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center to resolve allegations it improperly billed Medicaid for mental health services with unqualified staff.

The mobile outreach program for Onondaga and Madison counties initially evaluates and treats individuals in crisis who don’t come to the emergency room or require follow-up care after discharge.

The attorney general’s office says state regulations require two-member mobile teams include at least one “professional staff.” That’s defined as credentialed alcohol counselors, social workers, physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses or others approved by the state.

St. Joseph’s says it’s confident that outreach staff acted appropriately and in patients’ best interests, and it settled the case to avoid the uncertainty and expense of trial and potential disruption to its mission.

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