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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Goodwill Home Healthcare Indicted for Allegedly Accepting Kickbacks

According to news outlets, operators of a home health care service in Lincolnwood, Illinois have been indicted on charges for allegedly seeking patient referrals in exchange for kickbacks. The operators of Goodwill Home Healthcare, Inc, Marilyn Maravilla and Junjee L. Arroyo, allegedly conspired to set up a system of kickbacks and Medicare patient referrals with nurses, marketers, and themselves that allowed them to bill Medicare in an amount of roughly $5 million. Included in the indictment charges for their participation in the kickback conspiracy are licensed nurse, Ferdinand Echavia, and marketers, Jean Holloway and Rakeshkumar Shah.

A system of tiered kickback payments disguised as bonuses was allegedly the method by which Maravilla and Arroyo were able to not only condone this illegal activity but actively reward it. For example, according to a circulated memo within Goodwill, a $100 bonus would be awarded to the nurse who re-certified a patient for a third cycle of home health care, regardless of whether it was necessary for the patient. Such gross abuse of the health care system was reportedly condemned by the U.S. Attorney's office: "These services should be based on medical necessity, and on what’s in the patients’ best interests, and not based on whether or not someone in the medical industry is receiving a kickback."

The investigation and the resulting indictment of Goodwill Home Healthcare, Inc is the result of a year long federal strike force operation in Chicago whose responsibility it was to seek out health care defrauders. The Illinois Nursing Home Attorneys at Keating Law Offices wholeheartedly support such law enforcement operations that investigate alleged gross abuse of the health care system at the expense of those who rely upon the implicit trust in the quality of services they will be provided. All the defendants indicted in this kickback conspiracy scheme are scheduled to arraigned on August 22, 2012. We will be sure to update this blog with news as it is released.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All emails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are always confidential and free.