Health care provider paying $2.5M in settlement with N.Y. AG

By Bryan Cohen | Jan 13, 2014

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement on Thursday with a Rochester home health agency to resolve allegations of defrauding Medicaid.

L. Woerner Inc, doing business as Home Care of Rochester, allegedly billed Medicaid for more than 6,500 hours of services provided by uncertified home health aides and aides who falsely inflated their hours worked. The allegedly fraudulent billing resulted in Medicaid being charged for business costs not associated with the care of patients, including advertising.

"When providers rip off Medicaid for costs unrelated to healthcare, New York's most vulnerable patients and taxpayers are directly harmed," Schneiderman said. "My office's Medicaid (Fraud Control Unit) is designed to root out this kind of malfeasance, to make our taxpayers whole, and to ensure our neediest patients get the care they need. Once the overbilling was discovered, HCR cooperated in our probe."

Between 2002 and 2006, HCR allegedly submitted more than $2.2 million in costs for non-patient care services, including country club dues for HCR executives, employee salaries related to marketing activities, the cost of company vehicles, interest expense on business loans and advertising costs.

Under the terms of the settlement, HCR will refund Medicaid $2,503,932 plus interest.

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