STATE CHARGES FRAUD: Medicaid officials say a Raleigh company overcharged the state more than $824,000 for in-home personal care services meant for poor and disabled people who in many cases never received or didn't qualify for the care.
State regulators want to recoup that money, plus fines and penalties that raise the total to $926,000, and have started the process of pulling the license from Royal Healthcare Inc. The state is ramping up its scrutiny of in-home personal care services and the industry has launched a campaign to convince lawmakers that it is badly needed. (N&O)
RACE IS ON: The Democratic Senate candidates had a coming-out party Saturday, offering a statewide gathering of party leaders their best campaign pitches on why they were equipped to take on Republican Sen. Richard Burr in November.
The three major candidates — former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, Chapel Hill lawyer Ken Lewis and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall — struck a similar theme: that the Senate is dysfunctional, that the change voters approved in the 2008 elections is being blocked by Republicans such as Burr, and that health care reform is needed. (N&O)
LOAN IT TO DRYCLEANERS: Gov. Bev Perdue on Friday introduced a program to lean on state banks to tap into Small Business Administration loans, part of an effort to push small-business loans as the best growth market for banks and the key to growing the economy. (N&O)