By KHI NEWS SERVICE
KHI News Service
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — A Kansas City, Kan., home health attendant has been convicted in a federal case based on fraudulent Medicaid billing practices.
Doris Betts, 55, pleaded guilty to health care fraud in U.S. District Court. Her conviction was announced Tuesday by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, whose office is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to investigate home health care fraud in Kansas.
Betts' conviction is the first from the joint operation, dubbed “Operation No Show,” which focuses on abuse of Medicaid’s home- and community-based services program that pays personal care attendants to assist qualifying Medicaid recipients with general household activities and personal care.
The Attorney General's Office and HHS agreed to recommend a sentence of 18 months in prison for Betts, followed by three years of supervised release and $251,573.32 restitution to the Kansas Medicaid program. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2015.
The investigation found that between January 2008 and December 2013, Betts falsely billed for providing in-home services to two or more clients at the same time in different locations, while the client was hospitalized, and while Betts was at her own medical appointments.
Nationwide, the personal care attendant program has been the top source of fraud complaints to state Medicaid fraud units.
In addition to the Betts case, the joint investigation has led to 11 other criminal case filings by Schmidt's office.