Mr. Guthrie, CEO letter admitting returning money to State for fraudulent documented services

I need to contact Medicare/Medicaid Fraud line

Cornerstone Montgomery
December 2017

Dear Cornerstone Montgomery client,

It is the end of another year and so many great things have happened at Cornerstone Montgomery! We opened out new building at 2 Taft Court — finally moving the Rockville Clinic out of Twinbrook Parkway! We opened a third Residential Crisis house on layhill Road. We started an ACT team and expanded our Vocational Program. We have also been working with the Client Advisory Committee to start implementation of Trauma Informed Care practices across the agency. You will be hearing a lot more about that next year! All of these things mean that we are continuing to work on improving the quality and effectiveness of the services that we provide at Cornerstone Montgoery.

Our mission to help the people we serve with their recovery and integrating into the community — this remains our number one priority.

As stakeholders in cornerstone Montgomery, I want to let you know that in the last 3 months we have been alerted to two potential incidents of fraudulent services
Both involve staff who appear to have intentionally documented client visits that did not occure. We have returned any revenue that was billed for these apparent fraudulent services.

I am calling this POTENTIAL fraud because it is the State’s responsiblity to determine if actual fraud was committed

and decide on legal consequences. Cornerstone Montgomery is looking at our own procedures and will address any potential issues, but legal ramifications are determined by the state.

The good news is we (sic) that we know our policies and systems work. Clients informed staff members when scheduled visits weren’t happening. Those staff informed management. After investigating and confirming potential inconsistencies, both individuals were immediately terminated from employment at Cornerstone Montgomery. We have met the state and federal regulations with our response to the state. We truly appreciate that both clients and staff came forward so we could take immediate action to meet federal requirements and resolve this issue.

 

The good news is we (sic) that we know our policies and systems work. Clients informed staff members when scheduled visits weren’t happening. Those staff informed management. After investigating and confirming potential inconsistencies, both individuals were immediately terminated from employment at Cornerstone Montgomery. We have met the state and federal regulations with our response to the state. We truly appreciate that both clients and staff came forward so we could take immediate action to meet federal requirements and resolve this issue.

I also want you to know the steps we are putting in place to prevent this from happening again. This is challenging because we want to continue putting trust in the staff who are out in the field doing their work correctly. Even though we believe our staff to be honest and devoted to our mission, we need to make it clear that it is NOT ACCEPTABLE to falsify documentation for any reason.

We have decided on the following course of action — starting in January 20188, staff will be reaching out to a LIMITED number of clients in Supported Living, Vocational and ACT each month to verify that documented services have occurred. If it appears that there is a question about services, then additional calls will be made as needed.

We will be asking the same questions that will be documented and shared with the Chief Compliance Officer. — my notes her name is Marissa Gillum, why is her name and phone number not listed in the letter and I asked Ms. Gillum in a meeting with my therapist, psychiatrist, Keith Ellis and his supervisor Nicole Burke for Marissa to put her name and phone number up where people going to Southport can see it as they do at Family Services and their complaint hotline, I said it would probably increase her workload, and Marissa laughed, the kind of laugh that said my request was outrageous and she did not post this vital information at Southport or to my knowledge any of the clinics.— this “action” is damage control – if “staff” or Administration were serious, complaint information would be on the wall at clinics. —

We will evaluate this process after 3 months to make sure it is effective and will make changes if needed. I wanted to let you know why you might be receiving these phone calls so you are not surprised by them.

 

This was not a pleasant thing to tell you about – but an important one. I want to thank the clients and staff who spoke up. I want to thank Chief Compliance Officer Marisa Gillum and all the staff who helped her with the investigation. Our process works and that is great news! now we need to work together to make sure we prevent potential fraud in the future.

As this year comes to a close, I hope that each of you can think of one great thing that happened to you this year. Take that thought and think about another great thing that you want to achieve in 2018! Know that Cornerstone Montgomery is here to support you in any goal you want to work on–just reach out to the staff and ask to work together. They are all committed to our mission.

I wish you a Merry Christmas , Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year! See you 2018!

Warm wishes,

Cari Guthrie

 

 

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