- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Jury Convicts Home Health Agency Owner on All Charges for Stealing Millions from MassHealth
Boston — After a nine-day jury trial, the owner of a Boston-based home health agency has been convicted on seven charges of Medicaid Fraud and Larceny for stealing millions from the State’s Medicaid Program (MassHealth), Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Elena Kurbatzky, age 45, of Boston, was convicted after a jury trial in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of Medicaid False Claims (3 counts), Larceny over $250 by False Pretenses (3 counts), and Medicaid Member Eligibility Fraud (1 count). Kurbatzky is scheduled to be sentenced on August 7 at 2 p.m. in Suffolk Superior Court.
Kurbatzky was indicted in 2017 after an investigation by the AG’s Office. That investigation found that between February 2015 and October 2016, Kurbatzky’s company, Harmony Home Health Care, LLC (Harmony), billed MassHealth for in-home services allegedly provided to 38 patients, most of which were not provided and/or not authorized. Some of those services were billed while the nurses who were allegedly providing the services were traveling internationally, including Kurbatzky herself.
At trial, the AG’s office proved that Harmony fraudulently billed MassHealth for services it did not provide, including billing for nurses that the company claimed were providing services to several patients at different locations at the exact same time.
Harmony also billed MassHealth for services that were not authorized by physicians and, in many cases, forged physician signatures on the patient plans of care in an attempt to show these services were authorized. Kurbatzky also billed for physical, occupational, and speech therapy for the majority of Harmony’s MassHealth patients even though the services were not authorized by the patients’ physicians and Harmony did not employ licensed therapists to perform the alleged services.
Kurbatzky was also a MassHealth member herself, failing to disclose that she was paid $2.6 million by Harmony over two years so to make herself eligible for the program. She then billed MassHealth for services she purportedly received from Harmony that were not authorized by a physician.
The AG’s Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by MassHealth, which suspected misconduct and fraudulent billing practices.
AG Healey’s Office has established itself nationally as a leader in the fight against fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicaid program. The office’s Medicaid Fraud Division works to prevent and prosecute provider fraud and violations of state law pertaining to the administration of the Medicaid Program, returning $45 million to MassHealth in 2017 alone.
Members of the public who are aware of similar practices by other physicians or health care providers should call the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division at (617) 963-2360 or file a complaint through the Attorney General’s website.
This case is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer Goldstein and Kevin Lownds and Investigator Christine Baker, Investigations Supervisor Christopher Cecchini, Investigators Megan Corrigan, Patricia Ruiz, and Ruth Zeltzer, all of AG Healey’s Medicaid Fraud Division, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, Victim Witness Advocate Amber Anderson of the AG’s Victim Services Division, and the Office of the Inspector General. During the fraud investigation and at trial, MassHealth provided invaluable assistance during the fraud investigation.