Mo. AG settles over Medicaid claims

Bryan Cohen Dec. 13, 2011, 1:57pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a settlement on Monday with the owner of a St. Louis-based in-home personal care services company resolving allegations that she submitted false claims to Medicaid.

Lana Reece-Gates, the owner of Dignity Home Health Care Services, also allegedly failed to run appropriate background screenings on personal care attendants.

Koster's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit alleged that Reece-Gates knowingly submitted false claims to Medicaid. In addition, she allegedly failed to run compulsory background checks on personal care workers. In at least one alleged instance, she allowed an attendant to provide services when she had information that the attendant failed a background check. Reece-Gates then allegedly falsified records, indicating that she herself had provided the services.

"Medicaid pays companies like Dignity Home Health Care Services to supervise and ensure Medicaid personal care services are delivered appropriately," Koster said. "In this case, the company failed to carry out its duties. I am committed to holding the companies responsible for doing what Medicaid pays them to do - make sure the services are provided properly."

The agreement requires Reece-Gates to forfeit her Medicaid-provider status for three years and to pay $15,000 in restitution. Criminal prosecution could result from a failure to comply with the terms of the agreement.

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