When you are politically connected in New York, and you have tons of money, much of which was fraudulantly obtained, and you are billing New York State and the Federal Governement hundred of millions of dollars for elderly recepients of Medicare and Medicaid, what is a couple of million dollars in fines here and there?
Elly Kleinman, founder and CEO of Americare, would probably tell you that $15,000,000 in fines over a 5 year period is the cost of doing business.
According to a Daily News article, The Flatbush home care agency with a troubled past is back to its old Medicaid billing tricks, whistleblowers charged.
A company bigwig advised Jack and Goldie Gold to divide their Flatbush home with a wall so Medicaid would pay for two home healthcare aides. “It was suggested,” the elderly couple’s daughter Chani Gold told the Daily News.
New York State tries to control Medicaid costs by limiting coverage to one health aide per home.
Three different whistleblowers have made Medicaid fraud allegations to law-enforcement groups, sources told the News.
The state Attorney General and the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the Kings Highway firm in 2010, but allowed the accusers to bring cases on the government’s behalf.
One has filed a lawsuit; the other two are hiring lawyers and plan to sue, sources said.
An Americare representative was quick to respond to these allegations by stating that the whistleblowers were disgruntled former employees. That’s what all criminal enterprises say when they are caught by whistleblowers.
AMERICARE’S PAST CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR
Americare has been in the hot seat before over Medicaid billing practices.
Then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer fined the company a whopping $7 million in 2005 after his investigators found Americare billed for bogus hours at adult homes for eight years.
As attorney general, Cuomo also fined Americare $8 million in 2008 for falsely claiming home health aides had been trained to care for Medicaid patients.
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/arer2pa
In a borough like Brooklyn that has almost as many home health care agencies as blocks, the question begs as to why New York State and the Federal Government continues to do business with a criminal enterprise? Is it connections? Is it payoffs? Expensive attorneys? A combination? I can’t say.
Americans have been told that Medicaid and Medicare Fraud will not be tolerated anymore, and that the savings from ending this fraud will help pay for our expensive health care programs. Yet, Elly Kleinman has been fined $15,000,000 by two Attorney Generals in a three-year period, is again being accused of fraud, and continues to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid and Medicare funds. How much does this criminal have to steal before any ramifications?
I urge all my readers and the honest people of Brooklyn to boycott Americare and use other agencies. Let us send a message to criminals and the Government that health care must stay honest.