Five Lincolnwood, Ill. home health agency employees were indicted Monday on charges for allegedly participating in a Medicare fraud scheme involving $400,000 in kickbacks for the referral and retention of Medicare beneficiaries, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
In their kickback scheme, Goodwill Home Healthcare, Inc. billed Medicare for $5 million to cover their recruited Medicare beneficiaries. Kickbacks were paid to employees for patient referrals, extension of care cycles, and recertification of patients as homebound. According to the indictment, kickbacks ranged in amount from $100 to $700.
The five employees indicted included part owners of Goodwill Home Healthcare Inc., Marilyn Maravilla and Junjee Arroyo, licensed nurse Ferdinand Echavia, and two of Goodwill’s marketers, Jean Holloway and Rakeshkumar Shah.
Goodwill owners Maravilla and Arroyo allegedly disguised the kickback offers to employees as “bonuses” that were announced via Goodwill memos. Nurses who prolonged patients care cycles and re-admitted discharged patients were given these “bonuses.”
A U.S. District Court date of Aug. 22 is scheduled for Maravilla, Arroyo and Echavia.
Written by Erin Hegarty