Metro

Health care company will pay more than $750,000 for improper billing, AG says

“Through our settlement with Apria, hundreds of members who paid bills they did not owe will get their money back,” Attorney General Maura Healey said.
Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/File 2017
“Through our settlement with Apria, hundreds of members who paid bills they did not owe will get their money back,” Attorney General Maura Healey said.

Hundreds of Massachusetts residents will receive refunds after a health care company improperly billed them, the state’s attorney general announced Wednesday.

Apria Healthcare LLC, a company that provides home health care services and medical devices, will pay more than $750,000 for directly billing state residents for services that are already covered by MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program.

Under the settlement announced Wednesday, Apria has agreed to pay $99,008 in restitution and $665,934 in penalties to resolve the allegations that the firm improperly billed consumers, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said in a statement.

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“Through our settlement with Apria, hundreds of members who paid bills they did not owe will get their money back,” Healey said.

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In a statement, the California-based health care company said, “Apria denies that it has violated any Massachusetts laws, [and] this resolution reflects Apria’s desire to put this matter behind it so that it can continue to focus on the needs of patients.”

Healey’s office launched an investigation after residents lodged complaints that Apria, which has locations in Springfield and Wilmington, was trying to collect money for services that were covered by MassHealth.

That probe found that between December 2011 and April 2017, Apria improperly billed more than 1,000 state residents for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of services. More than 500 of those MassHealth members paid the bills they received and will now receive restitution, Healey’s office said.

The settlement calls for Apria to work with the attorney general to repair the credit of any consumers whose credit scores might have decreased because of the improper billing. The company will also be required to start a compliance monitoring program, according to the attorney general’s office.

Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com.