AUGUSTA — More than two dozen Maine school systems have been told that they’ve overbilled Medicaid for speech therapy and other services provided to low-income students with disabilities.

The Kennebec Journal reports ( that the state Department of Health and Human Services has notified districts about improper billing that could cost some of them hundreds of thousands of dollars. The agency says school districts billed for services that were educational in nature and thus not reimbursable by Medicaid, but school districts blame the state. They say the state has failed to provide enough guidance for complying with the rules for a system that was designed for health care providers, not educators.

The state counters that it held two public hearings and reached out to schools when reporting guidelines changed in 2010.

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