Mark Payne Nov. 19, 2014, 1:55pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - A St. Louis-based business will be forced to pay back $224,616 for allegedly submitting false claims to MO HealthNet as part of a settlement, according to an announcement by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

Independent Home Care, owned by Sharlene Scruggs, allegedly didn't follow procedure by ensuring that personal care attendants, who worked for the company, actually did the job they were required to do. It also allegedly sent bills for services to Medicaid for home care for a client when that client was actually in the hospital. In other cases, the business allegedly sent bills for additional services the employees didn't provide.

"My office will continue to aggressively investigate evidence of Medicaid fraud and stop those who illegally take scarce health-care dollars out of the system," Koster said.

Koster advised others to come forward with fraud or abuse of Medicaid funds.

Independent Home Care received $87,654 in reimbursement money from MO HealthNet for the claims that allegedly weren't true. The company will pay back this amount to the MO HealthNet Fraud Reimbursement Fund and $136,962 in penalties.

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