TEXARKANA, Texas: U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced that the Eastern District of Texas sentenced Jason Neil Hughes to federal prison for his role in a health care fraud scheme.
Hughes, 48, pleaded guilty on Sep. 10, 2021, to health care fraud and was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder, III. The judge also ordered Hughes to pay restitution of $416,124.68 to private health insurers.
According to information presented in court, Hughes was the owner and operator of ChangePoint Counseling Service, a mental health clinic in Forney, Texas. Hughes founded ChangePoint in 2013 and sold it in 2019. Between 2015 and 2019, Hughes carried out a scheme to defraud private health care insurers by submitting false and fraudulent claims. Hughes and others incorrectly billed personal insurance claims using a Texarkana doctor’s National Provider Identifier (“NPI”) for counseling services that the doctor did not provide. Although ChangePoint’s counselors had the NPI numbers that they used for billing counseling services, ChangePoint, at Hughes’s direction, used the doctor’s NPI to submit claims because the use of the doctor’s NPI resulted in higher payments from insurers. This billing practice resulted in ChangePoint receiving an average of 100% to 120% additional money paid per service from health insurers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Tyler Field Office investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Austin Wells was the prosecutor.