Local News

Effort to Close Mental-Health Clinics Blocked

Posted February 15, 2008 11:39 a.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2008 12:04 p.m. EST

— A judge has blocked a state attempt to close a chain of mental-health clinics next month.

Superior Court Judge Leon Stanback on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the state Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services from forcing Dominion Health Care Services to close its doors on March 11.

The company, which contracts with Wake, Durham and other counties to provide mental-health services, has filed a $300 million lawsuit against the state, alleging that state mental health officials are trying to run the firm out of business because it is minority owned and operated.

In the last year, the company has been investigated for various problems, including questionable Medicaid billing. An administrative law judge ruled, however, that Dominion wasn't given time to correct problems.

State officials conducted an audit in January and permanently revoked Dominion's Medicaid funding authorization to provide mental-health services.