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 firstname.lastname@example.org