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October 24, 2018

Posted  October 24, 2018

The owners and operators of two community mental health clinics in Pennsylvania and North Carolina have entered into a $3 million consent judgment with the United States to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act. In 2000, Melchor Martinez was convicted of Medicaid fraud by the State of Pennsylvania and subsequently banned from owning and operating health clinics or seeking reimbursement from all federally funded healthcare programs. Despite this, he allegedly continued to own and operate three chains of mental health clinics—including Northeast Community Health Centers, Lehigh Valley Community Mental Health Centers, and Carolina Community Mental Health Centers—by enlisting the help of his wife, Melissa Chlebowski, to act as the true owner and operator. In addition, the two allegedly failed to operate according to rules set by Medicare and Medicaid, including seeing patients for only 2-3 minutes and billing for 15, and billing for services provided by unqualified staff. They were eventually outed in a qui tam lawsuit filed by a former employee. USAO EDPA

Tagged in: FCA Federal, Healthcare Fraud, Improper Medical Personnel, Medicaid, Medical Billing Fraud, Medicare, Whistleblower Case,