November 18, 2010

Old case haunts speaker choice

Robert Nutting faces new questions on the $1.2 million his pharmacy never repaid after MaineCare overbilling.

By Rebekah Metzler rmetzler@mainetoday.com
MaineToday Media State House Writer

(Continued from page 1)

John Nutting
click image to enlarge

State Rep. Robert Nutting, R-Oakland, acknowledges applause after winning the nomination for House speaker during a Republican caucus last Friday.

Robert F. Bukaty/The Associated Press

"When we applied his formula to what was actually being charged, it didn't work," he said.

Fecteau said the audit was done by a firm that was hired to help his office, which had only three staff members overseeing the MaineCare program. The firm was paid by earning a percentage of the money it helped the state recoup.

"They identified those medical supply providers that had a high reimbursement and average cost per client for incontinent products," Fecteau said.

Nutting said he did not feel he was personally targeted by the agency, though some people suggested it at the time.

"We were the big target because we had gone out of our way to increase our business. We were a big supplier of incontinent products all over the state of Maine," he said.

Originally, the state claimed that True's Pharmacy had been overpaid by $3.6 million. That number was revised downward as more records proving delivery of products were turned over. Nutting said his company eventually found and turned over 96 percent of the records the state requested.

Nutting, who most recently served on the Legislature's Appropriations Committee, said he was not upset by the audit, and wished it had happened sooner, or more often.

"The fact that they did an audit and found that we had been overcharging was what I would encourage them to do," he said.

"Had I known from an annual audit or something that my mistake was a smaller amount of money and was given a reasonable amount of time to pay it back, then my people would still be at work and I would still own the pharmacy," he said.

 

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Matthew Stone contributed to this report.

 

MaineToday Media State House Reporter Rebekah Metzler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:

rmetzler@mainetoday.com

 

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