04.24.12 Home health services financed by the Louisiana Medicaid program remain plagued by claims fraud and other personnel problems, this time centered on workers who are related to their patients, according to a recent analysis by state auditors.
Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office last year documented six years of irregularities that resulted in $4.32 million in improper payments to Medicaid vendors who provide in-home and community-based care to elderly and disabled patients. The new follow-up audit involves 2010 claims from 25 workers. All the cases involved patients that had family members serving as their direct-care provider.
Medicaid protocol calls for private provider firms to collect documentation of work from their employees before submitting the information into a state database. Authorities at the Department of Health and Hospitals must then review and approve the submissions. Once approved, service providers electronically file to Medicaid for reimbursement.