HARTFORD — A Hartford social worker was arrested today and charged with cheating Medicaid out of thousands of dollars by using other social workers’ names to bill for services the government health care program would not pay her to provide.
Kathleen Service, 63, of Farmington Avenue, Hartford, was arrested by Inspectors from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and charged with one count each of firs degree larceny for defrauding a public community, health insurance fraud and first degree identity theft, and two counts of third-degree identity theft.
According to the arrest warrant, Service is a master’s level social worker and principal of Unlimited Family Services, LLC, an independent counseling practice in Hartford. In December 2017, the Department of Social Services, which administers the state’s medicaid program, notified all master’s level social workers, including Service, that they were no longer eligible to bill the medicaid program for counseling.
In July 2018, Department of Social Services notified the fraud unit that Service apparently had skirted the 2017 termination notice by continuing to bill the medicaid program using the credentials of other eligible enrolled providers who were unaware of such billing, the warrant states.
Subsequent investigation by the medicaid fraud unit Inspectors revealed that Service used the credentials of three other providers to collect more than $151,960 for some 1,722 claims for counseling she could not bill medicaid for in her own name. Medicaid is a federal and state taxpayer-funded program that provides health care to low and no-income individuals.
Service was released on a $100,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Hartford Superior Court on Oct. 17, 2019.
Service is facing up to 20 years in prison.