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Drug Abuse Treatment Providers Settle $1.3M Case For False Psychotherapy

A 20-year-old Hartford man has been arrested on sex trafficking charges, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
A 20-year-old Hartford man has been arrested on sex trafficking charges, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Photo Credit: U.S. Justice Department

New Era Rehabilitation Center as well as Dr. Ebenezer Kolade and Dr. Christina Kolade have entered into a civil settlement agreement with federal and state governments and pay more than $1.37 million in fines for violating the False Claims Act.

United States Attorney John H. Durham and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced hat the physician couple had agreed to pay a settlement of $1,378,533 to resolve the allegations.

New Era provides behavioral health and substance abuse services to patients at its clinics in New Haven and Bridgeport.

As part of their practice, New Era and the Kolades provide methadone maintenance services to Medicaid beneficiaries.

The government alleges that New Era and the Kolades provided methadone maintenance counseling services to its Medicaid patients and were paid the bundled rate for those services, but also submitted claims to Medicaid for psychotherapy services for the same patients.

The government alleges that New Era and the Kolades did not provide the psychotherapy services, but only provided methadone maintenance counseling services, which were already included in the weekly bundled rate.

To resolve the allegations under the federal and state False Claims Acts, the defendants agreed to pay $1,378,533, which covers conduct occurring from Oct. 1, 2009 through Nov. 30, 2013.

“We must ensure that taxpayers’ health care dollars used for substance abuse treatment are properly spent,” Durham said. “Medical practices and physicians who treat patients for substance abuse must bill their services accurately and honestly. Health care providers who submit false claims to federal health care programs will be held accountable.”

This matter was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard M. Molot and by Assistant Attorneys General Antonia Conti and Robert Teitelman of the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General.

People who suspect health care fraud are encouraged to report it by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS or the Health Care Fraud Task Force at 203-777-6311 .

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