Alex Kirkpatrick has succeeded in obtaining reinstatement to the Medi-Cal program of a person who was suspended many years ago. The client, “JJ,” who owned a DME supply company, pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor violation of Welfare & Institutions Code § 14107. Based on the conviction, she was excluded by the Medicare program and suspended by Medi-Cal in 1992.
JJ continued working under her married name in the healthcare field for another 23 years until her employer ascertained that she was the same person as one who had been excluded and suspended years earlier, and terminated her employment on that ground. JJ’s application for reinstatement to Medicare was granted by the OIG, but Medi-Cal refused to reinstate her based on factors including nonpayment of $1.2 million in restitution.
A petition for writ of traditional mandate was filed in the Sacramento Superior Court, contending that the functional lifetime debarment of JJ constituted an abuse of discretion. Before the petition was called for hearing, DHCS’s attorney suggested JJ reapply to the Medi-Cal program, which she did. By a letter dated February 6, 2018, her renewed application was granted, and JJ was reinstated, effective immediately.