Non-emergency medical transportation or NEMT is big business. State Medicaid programs pay transportation companies to take patients too sick to walk or drive to their medical appointments. Unfortunately, in many states the programs are filled with fraud.
A Massachusetts grand jury indicted managers and the owner of Rite Way, a Massachusetts medical transportation company for Medicaid fraud related charges. Prosecutors say the Rite Way company, its owner and managers bilked taxpayers out of $19 million.
Rite Way, a Westminster based company, shut its doors shortly after the criminal investigation began. Although the business is now closed, that didn’t stop prosecutors from indicting its owner Michael Davini and former managers Lynn Maquire, Dwayne Pelkey and Gary Carbonello.
According to court records and materials from the state’s Attorney General, Rite Way primarily provided transportation services to patients who can’t walk up or down stairs without assistance, who can’t use public transportation or who need a wheelchair. Much of their services were provided to patients needing rides to and from methadone clinics.
The indictment claims that the company often billed for transports that were never provided. In some cases, the company billed for transporting patients that were dead.
Massachusetts AG Says False Billing Scheme, Kickbacks…by Carbonello & Davini
In announcing the indictments, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said, “We allege that in order to rack up millions of dollars in payments from the state, this company orchestrated a massive false billing scheme for transportation services that they never provided or were not necessary.”
Two of the defendants, manager Gary Carbonello and owner Michael Davini, were also charged with paying kickbacks or bribes in order to sign up new patients. State and federal Medicaid fraud laws make it illegal to pay anyone for referring patients. Prosecutors say that in this case, the two were paying existing patients $50 or gift cards for each new patient they referred.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. All of the defendants are presumed innocent proven guilty.
Massachusetts Medicaid Fraud and Whistleblower Awards
Massachusetts is one of 29 states that pays awards (cash bounties) to insiders who report Medicaid fraud. (The federal government pays similar awards for Medicare fraud tips.) Healthcare professionals and others with inside information about Medicaid or Medicare fraud can receive an award of between 15% and 30% of whatever the government collects from wrongdoers. In this case, a whistleblower award of millions of dollars is possible.
Qualifying for an award means providing inside information about the people committing the fraud. Awards are generally paid to the first the file a claim.
Learn More on How to Earn a Whistleblower Award
Massachusetts healthcare professionals, EMTs, nurses, transport drivers, insurance auditors, billing clerks, technicians and others working with Massachusetts Medicaid are in the unique position to discover cases of Medicaid fraud against the state and the federal government. Whistleblowers whose cases are successful in recovering government funds are paid whistleblower cash awards often falling in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars range.
If you have knowledge of Massachusetts Medicaid fraud, submit your report. One of our panel of lawyers will provide a no cost evaluation of your case and help you decide if you have a case. You could be the next to collect a large cash award and help put a stop to fraud.