UPDATED: Former CEO of Hospital Chain Involved in Billing Fraud may Become CEO of RID

Updated Wednesday May 30, 2018

It was reported that Watchdog is associated with scientology which led to distrust of source so additional information has been added to article for further clarification. 

In February of 2018, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf posted their search for Chief Executive Officer (CEO). One of RID's CEO candidates, Joey Trapani, prides himself on years of executive experience, specifically in hospitals. On LinkedIn, Joey highlights that he was the CEO and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of UHS, a large facility which specializes in psychiatric care.  His role at UHS lasted from 2012-2017. 

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There are multiple occasions that it is announced that UHS was involved in some sort of fraud. April 2017, Medscape announced that a top performing psychiatric hospital was under investigation because of suspected billing fraud. 

In February 2018, Reuters announced that a judge is streamlining fraud that happened in 2011 involving a patient who had died at a hospital in Massachusetts. "A federal judge on Wednesday sought to streamline a lawsuit claiming Universal Health Services Inc defrauded Massachusetts’ Medicaid program so that the case could finally get to the merits after going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on pre-trial issues." Reuters

 If Joey specifically chose to highlight on his LinkedIn profile that he was the COO/CEO of hospitals within the UHS chain, that raises major concerns within the community. Were the hospitals that Joey oversaw directly involved in these scandals having to do with patient abuse or billing fraud, or were they cleared? That's a question that RID ought to be able to clarify prior to his hiring, if they intend to do so. Further investigation suggests that Joey (according to his resume) was CEO of Poplar Springs Hospital in Petersburg, VA and was the COO of Holly Hill Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

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Now, even though there is no specific information on whether Joey was involved in this specific scandal, something else caught the attention of Mishka Zena who informed DSTidbit News that Joey is the point of contact for an organization which was shut down specifically due to their abuse of deaf patients. Is this truly who RID wishes to oversee the national registry of interpreters, certifications, and ethics, specifically serving a marginalized, vulnerable group that had already been victimized by his previous employer?

The National Deaf Academy came under fire in 2013 when a class action suit was filed against them. "An exclusive NBC News investigation found that 10 different patients at NDA Behavioral Health System in Mt. Dora, Florida, also known as the National Deaf Academy, have alleged physical abuse to a government-funded advocacy group for the disabled in 2013. Three families, including the family of one of those ten patients, have filed suits alleging abuse." (NBC News)

In 2013, the local police were called to the NDA facility a total of 49 times. That is more than 4 times a month. Joey Trapani is still listed as their point of contact. Does that mean he was in charge of the facility when it was shut down? "Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) made 99 separate investigations into alleged abuse and neglect at the facility in the past decade." (NBC News)

These scandals involving the NDA and UHS are worth investigating further, especially considering he is a candidate for CEO of RID, which is an incredibly prominent position. RID is responsible and held accountable for ensuring that interpreters are certified, and that they follow the interpreting code of ethics. If a mere candidate for CEO was previously allowed free reign over such abuse and adverse financial action, how would he be expected to hold his newest organization to the stringent standards that the community requires? If he was not involved, then that's clarification that the community needs, which has been requested for by DSTidbit News. No response has been received as yet, we will report further as this story develops.