2 Mass. physicians agree to pay $445k for illegally charging opiate addiction patients

Two Massachusetts physicians agreed to pay a total of $445,720 for allegedly charging opiate addiction treatment patients cash for services that were already covered by Medicaid, according to state Attorney General Maura Healy.

"These doctors took advantage of low income patients struggling with addiction, forcing them to pay illegal fees for Suboxone services," Massachusetts Attorney General Healey said in a statement, referring to a drug used to treat opioid addiction. "My office is committed to eliminating obstacles to treatment for those in the throes of addiction."

Two separate investigations of Joshua Golden, MD, and Masoud Shahidi, MD, found the physicians allegedly required members of MassHealth — the state's Medicaid program — to pay out-of-pocket for Suboxone treatment. However, by law MassHealth providers are required to accept Medicaid payments as full coverage for care provided to its members.

Dr. Golden allegedly received at least $288,150 from MassHealth members with opioid addiction. The board-certified psychiatrist allegedly knowingly charged $250 for initial treatment and $100 for subsequent visits, according to the AG's Office. He has agreed to pay a $363,150 settlement, $288,250 of which will be paid back to the MassHealth members and $75,000 of which will be paid to the commonwealth as a penalty.

In lieu of submitting claims to MassHealth, Dr. Shahidi allegedly charged more than 100 Medicaid beneficiaries more than $95 for initial treatment and an additional $95 for subsequent visits. Dr. Shahidi agreed to pay $57,570 back to MassHealth members and a penalty of $25,000 under the settlement.


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