Companies Abusing Mental Health System, Audit Finds

The governor says some companies should be investigated over allegations that they abused a state mental health service to increase their billings.

A state audit of 167 companies found that some businesses working under a 13-month-old community support program abused the system by charging the government to take children swimming, to the movies and to do homework.

The findings were sent by state health and human services chief Carmen Hooker Odom to Mike Easley this week in a memo.

The state had established the service to help mentally ill clients and people addicted to drugs or alcohol with such skills as finding housing and jobs.

Easley said some of the abuse may be criminal.

The initial report didn't name the companies.