MassHealth will have to act fast to reclaim money from Northgate

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BOSTON (WWLP) – The State Auditor received word Friday morning that Doctor Jose Azocar plans to shut down his practice at the end of March. The Auditor said this could be a tactic to avoid repaying $191,000 he owes to MassHealth.

MassHealth will have to act quickly to reclaim that money. The Auditor’s office found that Northgate Medical Primary Care, located on Liberty Street in Springfield, was billing MassHealth for services that are more expensive than the services that were actually provided.

Routine visits, such as re-filling a prescription, was billed at a much higher rate. Northgate was also billing for services as if it were provided directly by the doctor, when they were actually performed by a nurse practitioner, which are paid at a lower rate.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump told 22News that her office has been getting many calls since our story first aired on Thursday. “Our audit staff is being contacted by residents of the Springfield area to alert us to potential other practices where this is occurring.”

Dr. Azocar blames the billing company for the improper billing.

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