• Springfield Republican: State audit faults Holyoke Geriatric Authority

    September 25, 2013 - The following content was originally published by the Springfield Republican.

    The state auditor Wednesday detailed how mismanagement at the Holyoke Geriatric Authority that included alleged misuse of credit cards and failure to seize revenue opportunities led to a $2.2 million debt to city agencies.

    The 34-page audit renewed calls from Mayor Alex B. Morse and others for a transition that could include privatizing the struggling nursing home at 45 Lower Westfield Road and possibly relocating patients.

    The city and a revamped authority board of commissioners in May 2012 requested the audit, which the office of Suzanne M. Bump began in August 2012. Patricia C. Devine, a former city councilor, took over as authority board chairwoman in April 2012.

    The audit covers the period of Jan. 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012.

    "The series of deficiencies detailed in this report describe an environment ripe for waste and abuse," Bump said in a press release with the audit.

    "Holyoke is at a crossroads of its financial future, and it must be determined if the Geriatric Authority can be transitioned to a state of self-sufficiency or if it should continue to be supported by the taxpayers," Bump said.

    Read more from the Springfield Republican.

  • Berkshire Eagle: Sandisfield woman sentenced for larceny, false claims to Medicaid

    September 23, 2013 - The following content was originally published by the Berkshire Eagle.

    A registered nurse from Sandisfield received a suspended jail sentence on Friday in connection with a scheme to bill the state's Medicaid program for more than $25,000 while at horse competitions.

    Berkshire Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini handed Robin Annecharico, 49, an 18-month sentence in the Berkshire County House of Correction suspended for a probationary period of five years.

    Annecharico was also ordered to pay $23,126 in restitution to MassHealth, according to the State Attorney General's office, which prosecuted the case with assistance from the state Auditor's office. MassHealth is the state's Medicaid program.

    On Aug. 29, Annecharico pleaded guilty to six counts of larceny over $250, six counts of Medicaid false claims, two counts of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements under penalty of perjury, in Superior Court. She also fabricated treatment and medical records for her patients to obstruct the ongoing criminal investigation by the state Attorney General's Office and a Berkshire County grand jury.

    Read more from the Berkshire Eagle.

  • Boston Herald: State cracking down on medical benefits fraud

    September 18, 2013 - The following content was originally published by the Boston Herald.

    State Auditor Suzanne Bump said her office is “prioritizing” people who scam on medical benefits after her investigators detected nearly twice as much MassHealth fraud in fiscal year 2013 from the year before — including people who claimed to be giving in-home medical care to the dead.

    As part of the record-setting $6.3 million in public-assistance fraud her office uncovered in fiscal year 2013, more than $3 million, or 48 percent, stemmed from MassHealth, according to a report released yesterday by Bump’s office. It’s nearly double the $1.6 million in MassHealth fraud investigators found the year before, and a jump from $2.7 million in 2011.

    Read more from the Boston Herald.