Medicaid Drivers Take D.C. for Ride; No Background Checks on Companies That Got $22.3 Million in '05

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 23, 2006 | Go to article overview

Medicaid Drivers Take D.C. for Ride; No Background Checks on Companies That Got $22.3 Million in '05


Byline: Jim McElhatton, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Kayode Y. Abrams had nearly a dozen traffic citations and a criminal record when the District's Medicaid agency hired his company to drive the city's neediest to medical appointments.

And when Abrams' company wasn't transporting Medicaid patients, the 33-year-old businessman had a side job: He was an organizer in a Northern Virginia crack-cocaine ring, according to court records.

Despite his criminal record, Abrams won certification as a Medicaid provider in the District.

It was no fluke.

Gaining entry into the lucrative but little-known industry has required little more than a driver's license, an inspected van, auto insurance and valid rates on file.

Neither the D.C. Department of Health, which oversees Medicaid, nor the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission, which licenses motor carriers, has conducted background checks of company officials in recent years.

City officials recently have pledged to reform the troubled program, but the lack of oversight raises questions about the overall management of the city's more than $1 billion Medicaid program.

Last year, the District spent $22.3 million for nonemergency transportation of Medicaid patients - slightly more than what the city paid for patients to see individual doctors, according to city records.

"There's more paid for transportation trips than doctor visits, and anybody can tell you that smells," says D.C. Council member David A. Catania, at-large independent.

Kayo LLC, founded in 2002, was one of about 200 Medicaid transporters operating in the city before it collapsed in the wake of Abrams' arrest and 10-year prison sentence last year.

Even with its owner in prison, Kayo LLC remains on a directory of Medicaid providers posted by the Department of Health on its Web site.

Medicaid, which provides health insurance for the poor, is funded by the federal government and the states, which also manage their programs.

A review of court records and other official documents of transportation companies on the D.C. Medicaid provider directory has found company officials with criminal histories and others with numerous driving violations.

Dead riders

The District's management of nonemergency transportation for Medicaid patients has come under increasing scrutiny in the past year.

Both the D.C. Office of the Inspector General and the D.C. Council Committee on Health have investigated the program. Federal authorities this year indicted the owner of one company, the Voice of Social Concern, while a criminal investigation into another continues.

Last month, the Office of the Inspector General for the federal Health and Human Services Department filed a search warrant affidavit on three vans operated by Mash Transportation Inc. of Hyattsville.

The Washington Times has obtained a copy of the search-warrant affidavit.

According to the document, Mash Transportation has filed dozens of Medicaid claims for transporting patients who were dead.

In one case, a Medicaid recipient died Jan. 6, 2000, but Mash continued to bill the District's Medicaid program dozens of times for rides for months after the date of death, according to the affidavit.

The FBI and the inspector general also have been investigating whether Mash fraudulently reported that recipients were confined to wheelchairs, which would have allowed the company to be paid at a higher reimbursement rate, according to the affidavit.

Authorities also noted that Mash received $410,784 for transporting D.C. patients in 2003, when the average total receipts for such services was about $60,000.

Since 2001, the company has received more than $1.8 million from the District, federal documents show.

Federal authorities declined to comment on the investigation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Medicaid Drivers Take D.C. for Ride; No Background Checks on Companies That Got $22.3 Million in '05
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.