MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge has ruled that Wisconsin health officials went too far trying to recoup Medicaid payments from dozens of independent nurses who care for severely disabled patients in their homes.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Kathryn Foster made her ruling in late September. She found the Wisconsin Department of Health Services exceeded its authority when it asked the nurses to return Medicaid payments for not fully complying with rules in documenting the care they provided, the Wisconsin State Journal ( ) reported.

Nurses say state auditors became aggressive starting in 2012, asking them to pay back $7,000 to $142,000 or more each because of paperwork mistakes, such as not providing proof that doctors had ordered vitamin D or Tylenol. The cases do not involve alleged fraud.

The state maintains auditors conducted proper reviews of the independent nurses, who bill Medicaid directly for their services. The state has until …
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Agency overreached in asking nurses to repay Medicaid