The OC Conundrum –
April 6, 2018 – Mental health provider Sovereign Health has been having a rough time as well. In June, after Sovereign became entangled in civil lawsuits with insurance giant HealthNet over the validity of its billings, it was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. More than 100 agents stormed Sovereign offices and treatment centers in south Orange County, hunting for evidence of health care fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, “laundering of monetary instruments” and illegal payments for patient referrals, according to paperwork filed in federal court by attorneys for the company.
Like Luminance and many other providers, Sovereign has struggled because of reduced reimbursements from insurers. Last month, as Sovereign closed and consolidated several treatment centers, a 26-year-old client, Brandon Nelson, hung himself at a company facility on Calle Vallarta in San Clemente. “All of our staff is deeply saddened by this young man’s death. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Federal privacy laws preclude us from discussing this tragic event further,” said Haroon Ahmad, Sovereign spokesman.
The San Clemente-based mental health and addiction treatment provider is closing its facility in El Paso; moving its women’s facility in Chandler, Arizona, to a new and larger facility in Beaumont in Riverside County; and closing part of its treatment facility in Culver City, officials said.