The owners of a Minnesota home health care business based in Brooklyn Park were charged with multiple counts of theft last Wednesday. The criminal complaint alleges the two owners of the business, who are sisters, fraudulently billed the state of Minnesota almost $400,000 for personal care services that were never provided. The industry of personal health care services has rapidly expanded over the last few years and the Office of Minnesota Attorney General has been tasked with fighting fraud cases that come from the industry.
The Brooklyn Park business provided personal care services to Medicaid recipients. Under the rules for Medicaid, care providers must have proper medical supervision. According to the complaint, the sisters who own the business did not retain a mental health professional , licensed social worker or registered nurse between December 2007 and February 2009 to supervise the personal care assistants employed by the company. Investigators with the Attorney General’s office also found multiple instances where an employee claimed to have worked more than 24 hours in one day and 93 hours in two days.
The two owners of the personal care services business have been charged with three counts of false representation and two counts of identity theft. The investigation of the personal services business began over three years ago when an investigator revealed a Medicaid regulation violation where a Medicaid recipient was receiving personal care services from his spouse. The spouse was an employee of the Brooklyn Park personal care business. The state stopped paying the home care services business in February 2009 and ended its relationship with the business in February 2010.
Source: Star Tribune, “Sisters charged with bilking state,” Lora Pabst, 5/5/11