Rutledge Praises Ruling Allowing Mulvaney’s CFPB AppointmentFri, Feb 2, 2018
Says, ‘The ruling by Judge Kelly is the right decision’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump in support of Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s appointment to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied the temporary restraining order seeking to prevent Mulvaney from serving as the head of the CFPB.
“The ruling by Judge Kelly is the right decision and will move the CFPB forward,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The CFPB has a history of federal overreach and a blatant disregard for the rule of law, but I am confident that Director Mulvaney’s leadership will ensure that the bureau focuses on genuinely protecting consumers within the confines of the law.”
“We believe the bureau, consumers, and the industry leaders can and will unite behind the new director to help achieve the common goals of encouraging innovation in the industry, penalizing those who do harm, and working together to find solutions to important financial issues,” the attorneys general wrote.
In addition to Rutledge, the letter, which was led by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, was signed by attorneys general from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
Rutledge Part of $24 Million Kool Smiles SettlementFri, Feb 2, 2018
Arkansas to receive over $475,000
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined with the United States, the District of Columbia and 19 other states to reach a settlement with Benevis LLC and 133 Kool Smiles Clinics, resolving allegations that the company submitted false claims to the Medicaid program by performing unnecessary procedures. This included providing stainless steel crowns, performing tooth extractions and baby pulpotomies on pediatric patients and failing to offer less costly treatment options when available.
Benevis and Kool Smiles will pay the federal government $23.9 million. Arkansas will receive $478,500 in restitution and other recoveries.
“The State of Arkansas will not tolerate irresponsible actions by companies that not only cost patients more of their hard-earned money, but also increase cost to taxpayers across the country,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Patients rely on and trust medical professionals, including dentists, to provide the best and most cost effective care possible.”
The settlement also resolves allegations that Benevis and Kool Smiles failed to implement appropriate audit processes and engaged in conduct resulting in overutilization of procedures. Such allegations were productivity bonuses based on revenue generated by performed procedures, scheduling practices that maximized patient visits per day and pressure to meet production goals, including termination of dentists failing to meet productivity goals from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011.
Benevis LLC, formerly known as NCDR, LLC, is a private company that provides non-clinical practice support services to dentists and dental clinics, including services relating to the management of clinic finances and administration. Since approximately 2002, Benevis has provided support to Kool Smiles Dental Clinics located throughout the United States, including the 133 Kool Smiles Clinics at issue in the agreement. The clinics are owned by professional corporations that are owned by licensed dentists and provide dental care to children and some adults, including beneficiaries covered by Medicaid.
A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (NAMFCU) team investigated the allegations in conjunction with the Department of Justice and United States Attorneys Offices in Connecticut, the Southern District of Texas, the Western District of Texas and the Eastern District of Virginia. The NAMFCU team included representatives from the Offices of the Attorneys General for the states of Texas, Massachusetts, South Carolina, New York and Virginia.
Rutledge Announces Pulaski County Woman Sentenced for Medicaid FraudFri, Feb 2, 2018
Says, ‘stopping this type of fraud continues to be a top priority’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the conviction of a Jacksonville woman for Medicaid fraud. Kethmany Anderson pleaded guilty in Pulaski County District Court and must pay $600 in fines to the General Fund of the State of Arkansas. She has already paid $447.12 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund.
“Kethmany Anderson scammed a vital program for vulnerable Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Attorneys and investigators at the Attorney General’s office continue to investigate these crimes and stopping this type of fraud continues to be a top priority.”
Anderson, 44, of Jacksonville pleaded guilty to one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class A misdemeanor for billing for services during the time that the Medicaid recipient was hospitalized in October 2015.
This case was referred to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and was prosecuted in cooperation with the Office of the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.
To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, complete the online form at ArkansasAG.gov, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or email email@example.com.
Rutledge Statement on President Trump’s First State of the Union AddressTue, Jan 30, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued the following statement after attending President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union address.
“It was an honor to attend President Trump’s first State of the Union address to directly hear about the successes of his historic first year in office and his bold vision for the future. From day one, the President has made clear that he understands the challenges facing our country and is working to improve the lives of all Americans. By prioritizing the passage of dramatic tax cuts and an unparalleled elimination of overreaching federal regulations, the Trump Administration has jumpstarted the economy and provided relief for hard-working families across Arkansas. I look forward to continuing to work with the President and his administration to tackle the country’s most pressing issues, including the escalating battle against the opioid epidemic and rooting out violent crime, in order to improve the lives of all Arkansans.”
Rutledge Attends White House Conference on Rural ProsperityTue, Jan 30, 2018
Says, ‘rural communities are the backbone of our country’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today attended the White House Conference on Rural Prosperity with State & Local Leaders. The event brought together leaders from around the country to meet with Vice President Pence and cabinet members to discuss how the federal government can assist rural communities, and witnessed signing of a formal agreement between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve coordination and collaboration.
“Vice President Pence reiterated that rural America has been a priority for the Trump Administration from the beginning,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As Attorney General, I believe the focus on communities like Ashdown, Lake Village and Yellville will help all of America thrive, and it is refreshing for Washington to acknowledge that rural communities are the backbone of our country. Rural prosperity means American prosperity."
Vice President of the United States Mike Pence, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue and Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke attended the conference, along with Intergovernmental Affairs Director Blake Rollins, Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner Anna Abram and National Economic Council Special Assistant to the President DJ Gribbin.
Rutledge attended two breakout sessions during the event. “Achieving E-Connectivity” featured USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett and Federal Communications Commission Wireline Advisor Jay Schwarz. “Developing the Rural Economy” featured Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs Ted McKinney and USDA Senior Advisor to the Secretary Rebekah Adcock.
Rutledge also attended a lunch discussion with Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Connecticut Agriculture Commission Steven Reviczky, Vice President of NASDA New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, Agriculture Special Assistant to the President Ray Starling and Special Assistant to the President and Intergovernmental Affairs Deputy Director Doug Hoelscher.
Rutledge Praises EPA’s Approval of Arkansas State Implementation PlanMon, Jan 29, 2018
Says, ‘the state plan brings power back to Arkansans’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of revisions to the Arkansas Regional Haze State Implementation Plan.
“I am pleased the EPA is doing what is right for Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Under the Obama Administration, the EPA ignored the visibility improvements made by the State of Arkansas and imposed the Federal Implementation Plan, placing expensive regulations on Arkansans to accomplish imperceptible environmental benefit. The state plan gives power back to Arkansas to provide the best plan for the Natural State.”
Rutledge filed litigation in November 2016 against the EPA’s federal plan. Instead of working with the State, the EPA published its proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Arkansas in April 2015 and solicited feedback. Attorney General Rutledge, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and a number of industries, institutions and facilities impacted by the proposed plan provided comments during this time. Despite the comments urging the EPA to withdraw the plan, the final plan was signed in August. Approval of the State Implementation Plan replaces the overreaching Federal Implementation Plan.