According to information provided by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has arrested 6 more people for Medicaid fraud, all but one related to home care schemes.
Those arrested include Deborah Thomas, Malcolm Jones, Trina West, Denise Reynolds, Andrea Johnson and Tevin Miller. According to prosecutors, their crimes occurred throughout the state.
In announcing the arrests, Louisiana State Attorney General Jeff Landry said, “My office is dedicated to investigating, arresting, and prosecuting those who attempt to defraud programs intended to help the people of Louisiana. We are committed to rooting out this problem plaguing our state.”
Medicaid Fraud in Louisiana for Home Care Services to Absent Patient
According to Landry’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Deborah Thomas, age 47 of Baton Rouge, was arrested for both Medicaid Fraud and Filing False Public Records. Thomas was billing Medicaid for home services she allegedly provided to a home bound Medicaid recipient. Investigators claim that recipient was not even at home at the time the services were supposedly provided. Instead, the patient was out working.
Home care is frequently the subject of Medicaid fraud complaints. To qualify for home care, patients must be certified by a doctor as needing to be seen at home. If they are well enough to leave the home and work, they are not eligible for assistance.
Home care fraud frequently occurs when services are provided to patients who are actually well enough to leave their home and visit the doctor. In the most recent arrests, it is doubtful if any services were even provided.
Malcolm Jones, age of 57 of Killona, Louisiana, was charged with Medicaid Fraud in another home care scheme. The state says that Jones allegedly provided in home services to a recipient who was not even in Louisiana at the time the services were delivered.
Simultaneous Patients Multiple Places Billed in LA Medicaid Billing Scheme
In yet three other home care cases, Trina West (age 46 of New Orleans), Andrea Johnson (age 35 of Lake Charles) and Denise Reynolds (age 44 of Monroe), were charged with Medicaid Fraud. Prosecutors claim the women were claiming to treat multiple patients in different places at the same time.
Finally, Tevin Miller, age 25 of Alexandria, was charged with a felony charge of Cruelty to Persons with Infirmities. Investigators say that Miller struck a patient diagnosed with an intellectual disability several times with a closed fist.
Medicaid fraud is a huge problem in the United States. Unfortunately, southeast Louisiana has one of the highest offense rates in the nation. Because Medicaid is paid with state tax funds, defrauding Medicaid hurts every taxpayer in the state. Sometimes, Medicaid fraud endangers human life too. Providing unnecessary services or surgeries, prescribing unneeded medications or delivering substandard services can cause serious harm or even death to patients.
Although Louisiana has been cracking down on Medicaid fraud, investigators and auditors can’t be everywhere. There is much more work to be done. Fortunately, Louisiana has enacted the Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law. This law allows whistleblowers with inside information about Medicaid fraud to file a formal complaint and obtain a percentage of whatever prosecutors collect from wrongdoers. Because the law provides for punitive damages and penalties, awards can quickly add up.
Most Medicaid fraud cases are solved because of whistleblowers. The state encourages whistleblowers to come forward and report fraud.
To report Medicaid fraud in Louisiana, call 888-742-7248 or click here. We can help you find an experienced attorney to help present your case and qualify for an award.