Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Office Manager Pleads Guilty in Medicaid Fraud

According to a recent report by WSLS, a Health Care Virginia (HCVA) employee has pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicaid. The employee was Agnes Vint of Selma, Virginia. She was the office manager at HCVA. She, along with several others, was indicted back in March. She pleaded guilty to one count of “making false statements in writing relating to health care matters.” The prosecuting United States Attorney said, “This case sends a strong message that providers who falsify official documents in a federal health care benefit program such as Medicaid or Medicare will be vigorously prosecuted… This is the type of fraud that wastes our precious health care dollars. Ms. Vint has been appropriately brought to justice for her criminal activity.”

HCVA is a Covington, Virginia based corporation whose purpose was to provide health care services to Medicaid patients.  In 2007, HCVA became a Medicaid provider after it entered into an agreement with the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS).  DMAS required its employees who provided personal care to be trained and supervised by a registered nurse.  Vint’s crime was covering up the fact that several of the personal care aids lacked the training required by DMAS.  Because of this cover-up, HCVA was able to bill Medicaid for nearly $1,000,000.00 for the services of untrained personal care providers. 

The corporation itself was also indicted, has pleaded guilty, and has already been sentenced. HCVA was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a fine and restitution. Federal officials are beginning to crack down on health care fraud because they are realizing that, not only is it costing American taxpayers millions and millions of dollars, but it is also putting hundreds of Medicare and Medicaid patients at risk.

“Vint was part of a scheme that not only defrauded Medicaid patients and taxpayers, but it also potentially put infirm patients in extreme danger. She even falsified documents to state that patients were getting required nursing visits when they were not. I am just grateful that our investigators were able to stop such a cold and heartless act," said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Health care fraud is on the rise, but the federal government is trying to keep a tight lid on it.

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