Conn. social worker paying $210K in settlement

Bryan Cohen Jul. 11, 2011, 12:12pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, United States Attorney David Fein and Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane announced a civil settlement Friday with a clinical social worker.

Joseph Ubaghs of New Milford, Conn., agreed to pay $210,000 as part of a civil settlement with the state and federal governments to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act and common law.

Ubaghs allegedly fraudulently billed Medicaid for individual and group counseling services. Ubaghs billed Medicaid for 45-50 minutes of individual services when he allegedly only provided fewer than 30 minutes on multiple occasions.

Ubaghs also allegedly billed Medicaid for individual psychotherapy services for separate family members when he had actually provided one group therapy session to the family members at the same time. In addition, Ubaghs allegedly billed Medicaid for counseling sessions the patients cancelled and didn't attend.

As part of the civil settlement agreement, Ubaghs will pay $210,000 to reimburse the Medicaid programs for conduct occurring between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007. He is also excluded from Medicare, Medicaid and all other federal health programs for a period of five years and is excluded from receiving payment from any federal health care program during the exclusion period. Additionally, payment to any individual or entity, such as a hospital, that employs or contracts with Ubaghs, for any services furnished, ordered or prescribed by Ubaghs is prohibited.

State criminal charges brought against Ubaghs by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the office of the chief state's attorney were resolved when he was granted accelerated rehabilitation.

"The civil settlement is yet another example of what we can accomplish when government works together in a collaborative fashion between all agencies at all levels," Kane said.

In entering into the civil settlement agreement, Ubaghs did not admit liability.

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