Law enforcement is decidedly cracking down on Medicaid fraudsters large and small all over the country. Whether they overbill the health care program, bill for services never rendered, or incur a wide array of violations, the Medicaid Fraud Strike Force is ready to hold them accountable.
Michigan Medicaid Medical Supplies Fraud
Law enforcement´s efforts have recently exposed Ahad Lotfi, a chiropractor accused of Michigan Medicaid Fraud over inappropriate reimbursements for custom shoe inserts and therapeutic pillows. Lotfi is the owner of four clinics in Southern Michigan.
The chiropractor was charged with Medicaid fraud after investigators carried out an analysis of his invoices to Medicaid. Over the course of two years, Michigan Medicaid paid Lotfi $200,000 for shoe inserts and therapeutic pillows.
Under Michigan laws, chiropractors cannot be reimbursed for medical supplies of this kind. In fact, experts have commented that Michigan Medicaid shouldn´t have processed the payments in the first place.
According to Michigan´s Attorney General Bill Schuette, Lotfi faces two four-year felonies. “The Michigan Medicaid program exists to pay health care costs for eligible Michiganders, not function as a cash cow for unscrupulous providers,” Schuette said. Lotfi has recently been arraigned and released on a $20,000 bond.
Nebraska Medicaid Fraud and California Medi-Cal Fraud - Services Not Rendered
Not all Medicaid fraud suspects go to court of their own accord.
Tammy Bolles, a 53-year-old woman from Lincoln, Nebraska, was recently arrested by the fugitive task force. Bolles, a personal assistance services provider, allegedly billed Medicaid for services she did not render in the case of two patients. In total, she defrauded Medicaid out of $9,596.
The investigation and arrest were the result of a tip to the Nebraska Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Unit. Investigators found that the defendant had actually been working at Younkers during over 400 of the specific hours she billed to Nebraska Medicaid.
Meanwhile, another lone offender met her fate in Orange County Court, where she was sentenced to five years of probation and community service over the illegal collection of $75,000 from Medicaid for care services she did not provide to her mother.
“I understand what I did was very bad and wrong. I accept responsibility for what I did,” defendant Enny Portillo told the Judge, after pleading guilty to California Medicaid (MediCal) Fraud.
The investigation revealed that Portillo had billed Medicaid for taking care of her mother while the elderly woman was in fact visiting Colombia. The fraudulent billings spanned almost two years, from February, 2010 to November, 2011. Portillo was spared imprisonment on account of her guilty plea and her speedy return of the fraudulently obtained funds.