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February 16, 2023

Leominster home care agency to pay $2.5M settlement over debt collections

Photo | Courtesy Andrea Campell's campaign website Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell

Leominster-based Regional Home Care has reached a $2.5-million settlement with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office resolving allegations the home care agency improperly collected payment from MassHealth members and engaged in deceptive debt collection practices.

The filing against Regional Home Care alleged it made misleading statements about consequences of nonpayment, and collected payment from patients whose services had been paid for by MassHealth, according to a Thursday press release from the AG’s office. 

“Regional Home Care engaged in illegal practices at the expense of vulnerable consumers across Massachusetts who depend on this medical equipment for their health and livelihood,” Attorney General Andrea Campbell said in the press release. “As a result of this settlement, thousands of consumers who were harmed by this company’s actions will directly benefit, and our office will continue to protect consumers from predatory practices and scams.” 

Regional Home Care provides services and medical equipment rentals, including oxygen tanks and Continuous positive airway pressure devices, and serves low-income individuals enrolled in MassHealth. 

The filing detailed Regional Home Care filed more than 13,000 debt collection lawsuits in the Leominster District Court against its consumers, 99% of whom did not live in the district, according to the press release. This is an illegal practice enabling Regional Home Care to more easily obtain favorable court judgements. The filing claimed that Regional Home Care did not provide consumers notices informing them of their right to dispute or seek verification of the debts.

Terms of the settlement will require Regional Home Care to pay $500,000 to the state and vacate its illegally obtained consumer judgments, which is expected to amount to $2.1 million.

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