Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Secretary John M. Colmers issued the following statement regarding today's successful conviction of a former DHMH employee who diverted funds from the Department's Kidney Disease Program. The Maryland Office of the Attorney General announced the case resolution today.

"In those rare instances where fraudulent activities occur within our Department, DHMH supports all efforts to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. This is an important conviction and one that I am glad has been successfully resolved. We can now put this behind us and move forward.

"The Department began a complaint investigation regarding the Kidney Disease Program in March of 2007. After determining that approximately $1.8 million had been diverted from the Kidney Disease Program, the case was turned over to the Office of the Attorney General.

"Since the irregularities were discovered, we have put into place a system of internal checks and balances to preserve the integrity of the payment system. Two major corrective actions include:

- A change to separate the provider enrollment and claims payment functions into two separate divisions.
- A change to new provider enrollment procedures that enhances verifications of new provider information."

The Kidney Disease Program provides Medicaid assistance to eligible Maryland residents who have chronic end-stage renal disease and are on home dialysis or are receiving treatment in a certified facility.

DHMH officials will have no further comment on this announcement at this time.

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH)

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