- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Montachusett Regional Transit Authority to Pay $300,000 to Resolve Allegations of Submitting False Claims to MassHealth
Boston — Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) will pay $300,000 to resolve allegations that it improperly caused false claims to be submitted to the state’s Medicaid program (MassHealth).
In a joint settlement agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, MART will pay $300,000 to resolve allegations that, from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2015, the organization billed for and received reimbursement from MassHealth for thousands of rides that its transportation subcontractors did not provide to MassHealth members. The AG’s Office also alleges that MART was in violation of its contract with the state, as it did not have appropriate procedures in place to verify that these transportation subcontractors had actually provided the rides, as billed to MassHealth.
“Some of our most vulnerable residents rely on MassHealth to provide essential healthcare services, and we need those dollars to be spent properly,” said AG Healey. “Any organization that does business with the state must honor its contracts and put appropriate compliance protocols in place to ensure that the state money is not being misused.”
MART is a quasi-public transportation authority that provides mass transit options and brokers medical transportation via subcontractors for the cities of Fitchburg, Gardner, and Leominster and the towns of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Bolton, Boxborough, Hardwick, Harvard, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Littleton, Lunenburg, Royalston, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Templeton, Westminster, and Winchendon.
Improper billing in medical transportation continues to be a priority of AG Healey’s Medicaid Fraud Division. This month, the AG’s Office announced that a Newton company will pay $27,000 to resolve allegations of improperly billing MassHealth for medically necessary wheelchair van rides actually provided by Uber and Lyft. In November, Michael Davini, the owner of Rite Way Transportation company, was sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to charges in connection with a scheme to steal millions from MassHealth by way of kickbacks and billing for services not rendered.
In AG Healey’s Office, this matter was handled by Managing Attorney Kevin Lownds, of the Medicaid Fraud Division, with substantial assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, the Boston Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and MassHealth.The Medicaid Fraud Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award. The remaining 25 percent is funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.