Former Personal Care Assistant Pleads Guilty to Falsely Billing Medicaid Program for Services Not Provided
WORCESTER – A former personal care assistant pleaded guilty and was sentenced for defrauding MassHealth of more than $33,600 for services she did not provide, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Ann M. Hudson, 69, formerly of Worcester, MA, pleaded guilty today in Worcester District Court to 12 counts of Medicaid False Claims and 12 counts of larceny over $250. Hudson fraudulently billed MassHealth a dozen times for personal care attendant services while the member was actually receiving inpatient care in hospitals and nursing homes. Judge Andrew M. D’Angelo sentenced Hudson to three years of probation, with conditions that she pay restitution and not work in any environment involving the care of elders or juveniles.
“MassHealth is a critical program that provides health insurance for the economically disadvantaged,” AG Coakley said. “Our office is focused on aggressively rooting out abuse in the Medicaid system and recovering money back for taxpayers."
The MassHealth Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program helps people with chronic or long-term disabilities live independently. The program provides funds to hire PCAs, who can help patients with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) while members receiving the services act as the PCA’s employer.
By regulation, PCA services cannot be provided while a MassHealth member is admitted in an inpatient facility or nursing home.
Hudson billed MassHealth for PCA services for a MassHealth member 12 times when the patient was admitted in a hospital or a nursing home, including when Hudson vacationed in Florida in 2006 and 2007. Hudson even falsely billed MassHealth for services after Worcester Elder Services, along with Worcester police, had the MassHealth member removed from the home Hudson shared with him.
Hudson kept the money received as payment for the falsely-billed services. Her violations of state law and Medicaid rules and regulations resulted in MassHealth payments of more than $33,600, which she must now pay in restitution as a result of her sentencing. Hudson was arraigned in Worcester District Court on July 18, where she pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Kriss Basil of Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Medicaid Fraud Division (MFD), with assistance from MFD Investigator Gregoire Ucuz and investigators from Office of the State Auditor’s Bureau of Special Investigations and the Boston office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.