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$8M grant on hold amid investigation into therapy provider

February 16, 2018

In a Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 photo, Vanessa Pawlak, former chief compliance officer for Centria, who was fired from her job after notifying company board members Centria was not in compliance with federal and state laws concerning Medicaid billing, certification of employees and other regulatory issues, is seen outside company offices in Novi, Mich. (Kathleen Galligan/Detroit Free Press via AP)

DETROIT (AP) — An $8 million state grant awarded to a Michigan autism therapy provider is on hold amid an investigation by the state attorney general’s office into alleged Medicaid fraud.

Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., tells the Detroit Free Press the Michigan Strategic Fund board awarded the grant in October but the contract hasn’t been signed. He says it’s on hold as the MEDC monitors the investigation.

The update comes after the newspaper reported Sunday that former executives of Centria Healthcare have accused the company of fraud, forgery, violating patient privacy and employing unqualified staffers to serve autistic children.

Centria denies any wrongdoing. The company’s CEO Scott Barry says the allegations are baseless and he’s confident they won’t derail the grant. Last year, Centria operated in nine states.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

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