Rutledge Announces Multimillion Dollar Settlement with Empower Healthcare Solutions, LLC

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Attorney General Leslie Rutlegde Arkansasag dot govAttorney General Leslie Rutledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2021

Contact: Amanda Priest
(501) 414-2223
Amanda.Priest@ArkansasAG.gov

 


Rutledge Announces Multimillion Dollar Settlement with Empower Healthcare Solutions, LLC

Empower to pay almost $8 million in civil penalties and additional reconciliation payments to the Arkansas Medicaid Program


LITTLE ROCK –Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced an almost $8 million dollar civil settlement with Empower Healthcare Solutions, LLC (Empower). The false claims settlement was based on a joint investigation conducted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The investigation was initiated after the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Arkansas Medicaid Inspector General raised questions concerning how Empower was reporting expenses in 2020.

“As long as I am Attorney General, I will aggressively go after those who overbill or steal from Medicaid,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Over the past seven years, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has obtained 155 convictions and over $43 Million in monetary compensation for the people of Arkansas.”

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found that $10,363,511 had been improperly reported and that the reporting violated the Arkansas Medicaid False Claims Act. Empower cooperated fully with the investigation and maintains that any improper reporting was unintentional but agreed to modify its reporting and to pay the state of Arkansas one million dollars in civil penalties and costs. In addition to the $1 million in civil penalties and costs, the adjustments to the report of expenses in 2020 will result in a $6,983,511 increase in Empower’s 2020 year end reconciliation payment to the Arkansas Medicaid Program. The combined recovery from the settlement was $7,983,511. 

Medicaid false claims occur when a provider knowingly submits information to the Medicaid Program to be used in determining the provider’s right to a benefit or payment. To report Medicaid fraud, false claims or to abuse of any Medicaid recipient by a Medicaid provider, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.  

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

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