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Lakeview Behavioral Health sues IMCare over contract dispute

Lakeview Behavorial Health is located at 516 Pokegama Ave. S. in Grand Rapids.
Chelsey Perkins
Lakeview Behavorial Health is located at 516 Pokegama Ave. S. in Grand Rapids.

The termination of the contract, effective at the end of this year, was expected to impact about 700 Lakeview Behavioral Health patients enrolled in Itasca County's public insurance provider.

GRAND RAPIDS — The dispute between Lakeview Behavioral Health and IMCare is headed to the courtroom.

Lakeview filed suit against Itasca County’s public insurance provider earlier this month. The lawsuit comes as the parties inch closer to the end of their contract, canceled by the county over alleged questionable billing practices and various other issues.

About 700 IMCare patients receive mental health and substance use disorder care at Lakeview.

Community members and Lakeview leadership have raised concerns about whether other providers within reasonable driving distance have the capacity to take those patients on.

The county, meanwhile, says they’re implementing a plan approved by the state health department to ensure there aren’t gaps in care for some of Itasca’s most vulnerable.

Lakeview is suing the county for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and defamation.

The company is also seeking an injunction to prevent the county from moving forward with its contract cancellation.

The county denies Lakeview’s allegations and says there is no basis for the suit or the injunction.

The court will consider the injunction motion at a hearing scheduled on Dec. 11 before Judge Heidi M. Chandler.