The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on February 1 that an owner and operator of Arbor Homecare Services LLC and a nurse employed by the home health agency were indicted for their roles in a scheme to defraud MassHealth and Medicare of at least $100 million. The Massachusetts agency allegedly routinely billed the government programs for services that weren’t provided, weren’t medically necessary, or hadn’t been authorized. The scheme is alleged to have targeted vulnerable patients, including those who were poor, disabled, or suffering from depression or addiction.
The agency also allegedly paid kickbacks for patient referrals and established sham employment relationships with patients’ family members to provide home health aide services that weren’t needed. The licensed practical nurse who was indicted was accused of billing for skilled nursing visits that she didn’t provide, and paying a patient to stay on with the agency.
The proceeds of the scheme, which took place between January 2013 and January 2017, were allegedly used to buy several homes and a Maserati, and to open numerous financial accounts. A civil action seeks to forfeit to the U.S. five properties and 40 financial accounts. The indictment included healthcare fraud and conspiracy charges, and the owner-operator was also indicted on money laundering charges.