Friday, March 23, 2012

Mental Health Service Provider Joseph T. Hackett Indicted for Health Care Fraud


RICHMOND, VA—Joseph T. Hackett, 31, of Asheville, North Carolina, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on four counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia, made the announcement after the indictment was returned. Hackett faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each health care fraud count and five years in prison for the conspiracy count.

According to the indictment, Hackett owned and operated Access Regional Taskforce (ART), a Richmond-based Medicaid contracted provider of intensive in-home therapy services for children and adolescents. Intensive in-home therapy services, one of the many mental health services offered by Medicaid in Virginia, are designed to assist youth and adolescents who are at risk of being removed from their homes or are being returned to their homes after removal because of significant mental health, behavioral, or emotional issues. Medicaid requires that intensive in-home therapy providers employ qualified mental health workers to provide a medically necessary service to at-risk children and adolescents.

The indictment alleges that Hackett, through ART, billed Medicaid for services that were not reimbursable because the services did not address a child’s specific mental health issues, were not provided by qualified mental health workers, and were not provided to children who were in actual need of the offered services. It is alleged that Medicaid paid ART at least $1,570,041 that it was not entitled to receive. In addition, the indictment alleges that Hackett paid Creed Xtreme Marketing Concepts, aka Creed Extreme Marketing, $545,410 in illegal kickbacks for patient referrals. The owner of Creed, Lorie T. Monroe, pled guilty to conspiracy to receive illegal kickbacks on January 24, 2012.

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