HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) — Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced Sept. 7 that the Hartford Dispensary will pay $627,000 after allegations of violating the False Claims Act by falsely certifying to federal and state officials that it had a current medical director.
"Federal law requires that a medical director oversee Medicaid-enrolled opioid treatment programs," Jepsen said. "The rationale for the law is self-evident. Yet the requirement takes on added importance in light of the opioid epidemic our state and nation currently faces.
"A hands-on, onsite medical director is responsible for assuring regulatory compliance by monitoring and supervising all medical and nursing services provided by the clinic. Opioid treatment clinics are required to follow the same clear rules, and those that do not will face enforcement.”
The dispensary appointed a medical director in 1986; the director, a licensed physician, held the position till 2015. The state alleged that this director performed none of the duties a medical director must for at least the last ten years.
"A medical director has critical functions in the management of practitioners, adherence to clinical guidelines and ensuring overall quality of care," said state Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby. "Operating without a medical director or, in this case, operating with a no-show or non-participating medical director, is inexcusable and a gross violation of federal and state requirements.”