Can’t underestimate the power to making the most of five minutes. Return emails, water plants, do some ab workouts. Better yet, drink some more coffee. What you can’t do in five minutes according to the Department of Health and Human Services is provide five minute counseling sessions and then bill Medicare and Medicaid for a forty-five-minute visit. Which is what Mi Ok Song Bruining, also know at Recovery Connections Centers of America, Inc. as the “Five Minute Queen” did.
Since 2018, up to 1800 patients have sought help for their addiction at Recovery Connections Centers locations throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Greater Boston and in Rhode Island. It seems RCC shouldn’t have opened up in the first place because the primary defendant, Michael Briera used another individual’s name and healthcare information to apply for federal health care funding. It stands to reason, that maybe a business built on lies, is going to continue lying and RCC didn’t disappoint. Under the supervision of fraud pundit Bruining, she executed a scheme that shortchanged Rhode Island and Massachusetts substance abuse disorder patients out of counseling and treatment services while, at the same time, defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurers out of more than $3.5 million.
On November 9, 2023, Bruining admitted in federal court that as a supervisor at Recovery Connections Centers of America in Providence, she hired and trained counselors on how to fraudulently bill insurers, routinely submitting false and fraudulent claims for psychotherapy and counseling services that did not occur for the length of time billed. Counseling sessions were actually limited to only five minutes, strictly enforced by the ringing of a bell. Bruining admitted that while billing for 45-minute sessions she actually saw patients for no more than five minutes, at times asking patients only one question before she ended a session. She didn’t earn the title of Five-Minute Queen for nothing.
Outstanding job by FBI in this case.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Warwick social worker admits to defrauding multiple health insurers” published by ABC6 News on November 9, 2023
United States Attorney Zachary Cunha said that a clinical social worker admitted to a federal judge that she helped in a scheme that shortchanged Rhode Island and Massachusetts substance abuse disorder patients out of counseling and treatment services while also defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and other health insurers.
Mi Ok Song Bruining, of Warwick, admitted that while she was employed at Recovery Connections Centers of America, Inc., she and other workers “routinely submitted false and fraudulent claims for psychotherapy and counseling services that did not occur.”