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Tue Sep 10, 2019, 12:16 AM

Caddo Parish mental health counseling firm owner and supervisor indicted for billing nearly $8M for

Caddo Parish mental health counseling firm owner and supervisor indicted for billing nearly $8 million for services not provided, paying kickbacks

SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that two Northwest Louisiana residents who owned and ran the Positive Change Counseling Agency LLC were indicted for improperly billing Medicaid for almost $8 million, in addition to paying kickbacks in violation of the law.

The owner and operator of Positive Change, Marty Johnson, 57, of Shreveport, and the company’s supervisor and business manager, Keesha Dinkins, 42, of Bossier City, Louisiana, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, 47 counts of health care fraud and four counts of wire fraud. Johnson also faces one count of paying a kickback.

According to the indictment, Positive Change billed Medicaid $7,992,347 for psychiatric therapy, transportation, and other related mental health services from January 2014 to December 2018 that were never provided. In order to execute the scheme, Johnson and his employees recruited clients to receive mental health and related services. Johnson then paid some of these clients kickbacks in exchange for enrolling in certain programs. Johnson also obtained Medicaid identification numbers from potential clients and their family members and, without the potential clients’ authorization, billed Medicaid for services that were not rendered.

In billing Medicaid, Johnson and Dinkins: (i) created false documents showing that Positive Change provided services that were not rendered; (ii) falsely listed employees with graduate and advanced educational degrees as service providers in order to trigger a higher rate of payment from Medicaid; and (iii) used false, fabricated and exaggerated mental health diagnoses in order to obtain additional payments from Medicaid.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdla/pr/caddo-parish-mental-health-counseling-firm-owner-and-supervisor-indicted-billing-nearly

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