Keli House Community Services, a nonprofit health care agency in Fishkill, New York, will repay over $363,000 in Medicaid payments in a settlement with the state's Attorney General's Office, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
Keli House, which serves individuals with disabilities and their families, allegedly used unqualified workers to provide Medicaid services to participants in the Home and Community Based Services program. The program is offered by the New York State Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
The organization will pay a total of $363,643 to reimburse the Medicaid payments, Schneiderman said.
“People suffering from disabilities deserve the best assistance available when exploring the option to stay in their homes,” Schneiderman said. “Service providers that employ inexperienced staff deprive New Yorkers of the expertise needed to navigate and maximize all opportunities. We will crack down on anyone who shortchanges not only the most vulnerable members of our community but also our Medicaid program.”
Keli House officials say its aim is to decrease the rate of institutionalization for individuals with disabilities who are on Medicaid. OPWDD service providers must meet certain educational and experience requirements and complete OPWDD-approved training.
For three and a half years, ending in November 2009, Keli House had 10 people providing services through OPWDD, but only one was fully qualified, Schneiderman said. He added some of the coordinators didn't have any experience and others held degrees in fields unrelated to health care.