State fines Pratt Street mental health clinic

State health regulators disclosed Thursday that they have fined Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. $90,000 for employing a psychiatrist who had been convicted several years earlier of Medicaid fraud. The fine equals the salary and benefits that the nonprofit clinic paid Dr. Roman Ostrovsky during the 20 months he worked there as medical services administrator.State officials said BBH should never have hired him because he was on a federal no-hire list because of his fraud conviction. The penalty comes amid questions about the finances at the West Pratt Street mental health clinic, which was the subject of a recent Baltimore Sun investigation. Over the past six months, the nonprofit center has laid off staff and met with city officials to discuss concerns about their finances. And two former BBH employees provided The Sun documentation showing that nine months' worth of retirement savings deducted from their paychecks by BBH last year has not been deposited in their accounts. Chief Executive William "Kris" Hathaway said Thursday that he could not comment on the state's fine because he had not received the decision. Last month he said BBH had taken steps to comply with Medicaid employment requirements and enacted measures to ensure that it would remain in compliance.
Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun
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