Metro

Transport service accused of bilking MassHealth out of $470,000

Webster businesswoman allegedly charged for rides given to dead people

The owner of a Webster business that provides transportation services to MassHealth patients is facing charges that she defrauded the program of more than $470,000 for services under the names of dead patients and for rides that were never given, authorities said Friday.

Cynthia Keegan, 50, and her company were both indicted Thursday by a Worcester grand jury on seven counts of larceny over $250 and seven counts of making false claims to Medicaid, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office said. Keegan and Cross Roads Trolley will be arraigned at a later date.

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Keegan’s company is Keegan Enterprises, but it does business under the name Cross Roads Trolley. Her business is a privately owned wheelchair van company that provides non-emergency rides to MassHealth members, the statement said.

Neither Keegan nor her company could immediately be reached for comment Friday.

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MassHealth is the state’s Medicaid program. It provides health care for low- and medium-income people and the disabled.

An investigation by Coakley’s office began after a referral from MassHealth. Coakley’s office found that Keegan billed MassHealth for rides for 47 deceased people. She also made false claims for living people who never received rides.

Keegan submitted 1,500 claims to MassHealth for the deceased individuals. She was paid $6,900 for 152 of those claims; the others were not accepted, the statement said.

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She also submitted more than 8,300 claims for transporting residents at two nursing facilities in West Brookfield and received more than $400,000 in payment.

Coakley’s office found that the residents listed on the claims either rarely left the nursing facilities or that they did not live at the facilities, the statement said.

Keegan received nearly $70,000 from other false claims, the statement said.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.
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