When the U.S. Attorney's Office unsealed the indictment yesterday alleging that Dr. Jacques Roy spearheaded the largest healthcare fraud in the nation's history out of his DeSoto office, they revealed that in 2010, he dispatched recruiters to The Bridge downtown. Their mission: pay homeless Medicaid beneficiaries $50 a pop to fill out paperwork certifying they were "homebound and in need of skilled nursing services," per the indictment. Allege the feds, Roy would them come down to The Bridge's courtyard and the Austin Street Shelter to conduct medical exams; only later did Bridge security give Roy's people the boot, which sent them scurrying to the second floor of a nearby church.
Moments ago we received a statement from Jay Dunn, president and CEO of The Bridge, in which he outlines the facility's role in exposing the alleged $375-million scam. (There was also someone willing to blow the whistle.) It reads, in full:
"In 2010, we became aware of suspicious activities involving the medical care of our guests unrelated to the on-site health care services we provide. As a result, our services team collaborated with local authorities to investigate and respond. Those actions were aided by federal investigations, with which we cooperated. Today, we have learned that those investigations have led to the indictment of seven individuals for fraud.
We are pleased to know that we were able, in some small ways, to be a part of the responses to these suspicious activities.
The Bridge serves the most vulnerable of our community, and we take our charge as stewards of their and the broader community's trust very seriously. Accordingly, we want to support related on-going activities and are unaware of what, if anything, the authorities will subsequently need from us. Therefore, we are unable to make additional comments without further coordinating with our judicial partners."