“The Health Care Fraud Section has had a record-setting year of getting back stolen taxpayers’ funds that should have gone to help those who are sick or injured,” DeWine said. “Ohioans can rest assured that we will remain focused on making sure that valuable Medicaid funds and Workers Compensation dollars are used as intended.”
The Health Care Fraud Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office consists of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) and the Worker’s Compensation Fund Unit (WCFU).
DeWine said the MFCU recovered $101,896,865 for the fiscal year ending in June. It secured 135 indictments and 121 convictions. That unit also earned the 2011 State Medicaid Fraud Control Award from the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recognizing it as tops in the nation. For the same time period, the WCFU recovered $1,870,425, with 99 indictments and 100 convictions.
DeWine said, in one case, the MFCU uncovered a scheme in which an independent home health provider paid kickbacks to five other people. They aided the provider in defrauding Medicaid by billing for services that were never provided. That home health provider pleaded guilty, was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to make more than $233,000 in restitution.
Among the cases pursued by the WCFU, one involved a person who was receiving total disability payments from the state Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, while working full-time as a home remodeler. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay investigative costs of $19,500 and restitution of $24,100.
DeWine said, since taking office this year, they have increased the assets available to the Health Care Fraud Section. Additional agents have been hired to enhance their capabilities.
“It’s our duty to protect citizens from fraud and see that those in need get the care they are entitled to,” DeWine said. “We will continue to work hard, in cooperation with other state and federal agencies, to fulfill this important responsibility.”
DeWine said Ohioans who have information regarding possible health care fraud should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at (800) 282-0515 or they can report fraud online at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.