Local home hospice owner charged with insurance fraud

The U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice on Oct. 12 an­nounced the in­dict­ment of the own­er of a North­east-based home hos­pice care pro­vider on charges that he de­frauded Medi­care of more than $14 mil­lion.

Mat­thew Ko­lodesh (a.k.a. Mat­vei Ko­lo­dech), 49, of Churchville, Bucks County, op­er­ated Home Care Hos­pice Inc. (HCH) at 2801 Grant Ave. Ac­cord­ing to the grand jury in­dict­ment, he sub­mit­ted false claims total­ing $14.3 mil­lion to Medi­care for pa­tients who were not eli­gible for hos­pice care or who did not re­ceive the care that he billed to the fed­er­ally sub­sid­ized in­sur­ance pro­gram.

Ko­lodesh fur­ther al­legedly di­ver­ted more than $9 mil­lion from the busi­ness’ op­er­at­ing ac­count il­leg­ally to pay for renov­a­tions to his house, per­son­al travel ex­penses, col­lege tu­ition for his son and a lux­ury auto­mobile. This cash also in­cluded money ob­tained by HCH as kick­back pay­ments from vendors who used phony and in­flated in­voicing sys­tems, along with “sham” char­it­able dona­tions made in the name of HCH, ac­cord­ing to the grand jury.

Ko­lodesh is charged with con­spir­acy to com­mit health-care fraud, 21 counts of health-care fraud, 11 counts of money laun­der­ing and two counts of mail fraud.

Spe­cific­ally, Ko­lodesh and a co-con­spir­at­or who is not named in the in­dict­ment al­legedly paid phys­i­cians and oth­er health-care pro­fes­sion­als for pa­tient re­fer­rals, even though many of the pa­tients were in­eligible or in­ap­pro­pri­ate for hos­pice care. Ko­lodesh al­legedly dis­guised these pay­ments as com­pens­a­tion for fic­ti­tious con­tract or con­sult­ant work sup­posedly per­formed for HCH by the med­ic­al pro­fes­sion­als.

“Among the in­eligible pa­tients, the in­dict­ment al­leges, were pa­tients who were not ter­min­ally ill and pa­tients who were on the ser­vice list for more than six months,” the U.S. At­tor­ney’s of­fice stated in a news re­lease.

Ko­lodesh al­legedly in­struc­ted em­ploy­ees to al­ter pa­tient charts to make it ap­pear as if their med­ic­al con­di­tions were worse than they really were. He also in­struc­ted em­ploy­ees to bill cer­tain Medi­care claims at a high­er rate than the ser­vices ac­tu­ally provided to pa­tients, the in­dict­ment states.

The grand jury fur­ther al­leges that Ko­lodesh fals­i­fied doc­u­ment­a­tion re­lat­ing to a $2.5 mil­lion low-in­terest loan gran­ted to HCH in 2005 by the Phil­adelphia In­dus­tri­al De­vel­op­ment Cor­por­a­tion. When HCH failed to cre­ate 50 new jobs at its Grant Av­en­ue site as re­quired by the terms of the loan, Ko­lodesh al­legedly re­por­ted falsely that work­ers from a sub­urb­an-based hos­pice care com­pany that he also owned were re­lo­cated to Grant Av­en­ue. Those work­ers nev­er were em­ployed at the Grant Av­en­ue site, however.

If con­victed on all charges, Ko­lodesh could be sen­tenced to up to 370 years in pris­on and be ordered to pay full resti­tu­tion to Medi­care and to the gov­ern­ment for the pro­ceeds of his al­leged money laun­der­ing. ••

Re­port­er Wil­li­am Kenny can be reached at wkenny@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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