Connecticut Supreme Court upholds state Medicaid fraud decision

By Drew Smith | Sep 26, 2008

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline)--The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a ruling made by the state's Department of Social Services against a Farmington-based company for defrauding the state's Medicaid program.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and DSS Commissioner Michael Starkowski praised the decision, which orders Goldstar Medical, Inc., to pay the state $198,193 in restitution and suspended the company's owner, Donald Bouchard.

"This victory ends attempts by Goldstar and Bouchard to evade accountability for health care fraud. Now they must refund taxpayers for their wrongdoing," Blumenthal said.

Goldstar, a company that supplies oxygen to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, was subject of a 2005 investigation that ultimately found the company defrauded the Medicaid program by submitting payment claims for uncovered services and services not ordered by a physician, double-billing and illegal altering documents.

Bouchard has attempted to fight the state order since 2005.

"The Supreme Court -- upholding the state's order -- has roundly rejected efforts to avoid refunds and other remedies," Blumenthal said.

According to Blumthal's office, Goldstar altered documents in order to show patients needed the company's oxygen supplies instead of those included in the patient's nursing home rate. This caused Medicaid to pay Goldstar for unneeded oxygen.

"While the great majority of vendors in the Medicaid program are honest and forthright, Connecticut and other states must constantly employ fraud prevention and enforcement measures to root out incidents of abuse," Starkowski said.

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