Sober living fallout: Nearly 40 residents to be evicted from Mesa's Canal on Baseline luxury condos

A complex of luxury condos in Mesa being used for sober living units has been impacting dozens of residents for a while now.

FOX 10 learned from Mesa Police on Jan. 9 that 35 people are in the process of being evicted from the condos.

The reason for the evictions wasn't detailed.

The fallout from the sober living scandal continues.

The provider responsible for housing these individuals is Arizona Behavioral Health Clinic, says Arizona’s Medicaid agency, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

The agency suspended payment to Arizona Behavioral last month over credible allegations of fraud, which include billing for services that were not provided.

The address of Canal on Baseline is not licensed by Arizona's Department of Health Services at all to treat patients.

Arizona Behavioral is licensed, just not at this location, meaning the complex has documented unlicensed sober living facilities since it began taking in renters.

FOX 10 reached out to the owner of Arizona Behavioral and has not heard back.

The state’s crackdown on Medicaid fraud comes as hundreds of fake rehab homes and facilities popped up across the Valley, taking advantage of vulnerable people with addictions and using their information to bill AHCCCS.

Many victims are Native American and enrolled in the American Indian Health Plan.

The scheme has defrauded Arizona for at least hundreds of millions of dollars.


Chaos at the Canal: Sober living home activity investigated at Mesa luxury condos, city says

Residents living near new luxury condos in Mesa are fed up, saying they believe they're seeing sober living home activity that's causing heavy police presence. As of May 21, police have responded to "Canal on Baseline" more than 150 times for various calls for service since November 2022.

FOX 10 previously reported on Canal on Baseline being cited by the Department of Health for having unlicensed sober living facilities. Residents reported people there appearing to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"Almost any time of the day you will see multiple people out drinking, smoking, loud," a neighbor said in a previous FOX 10 report. They live next to the Canal on Baseline.

As of May 21, 2023, police responded to "Canal on Baseline" more than 150 times for various calls for service since November 2022. An average of 22 calls per month.

"The other day our neighbor went through and was talking to them, and they said they were in an experiment," the neighbor said.

The AHCCCS Hotline is available for those affected by closures of sober living homes: dial 211 and press 7.

Statement from Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

"On 1/9, the City of Mesa and AHCCCS were alerted that a provider suspended on credible allegations of fraud had defaulted on their contractual agreement to provide members with a seamless transition to alternative care. This resulted in more than two dozen members being displaced from residences at the Canal on Baseline.

AHCCCS,  Solari, Inc. (which administers the 211 press 7 hotline), and Community Bridges, Inc., mobilized quickly to be onsite to help members with temporary lodging and other immediate needs.

AHCCCS continues to work with our partners in state and federal law enforcement to investigate fraudulent behavioral health billing and to suspend Medicaid payments to providers who we have reason to believe have engaged in fraudulent behavior.

We are grateful to the City of Mesa, Solari, and Community Bridges who responded immediately to assist affected individuals.

Any AHCCCS member affected by this situation - or any other provider closure - who is in need of treatment, transportation,  temporary lodging, or other health services resources is encouraged to call 2-1-1 (press 7)."