Woman pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud

Published 8:58 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Suffolk woman pleaded guilty Tuesday in Norfolk federal court on charges of health care fraud, alteration of records and aggravated identity theft.

Janice W. Holland, 42, faces up to 32 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 when she is sentenced in January, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Holland owned and operated A Caring Hand Home Health Care Services Inc., a business based in Suffolk that was authorized to provide respite care to Medicaid recipients.

Email newsletter signup

Between January 2008 and October 2011, Holland filed about 939 fraudulent claims with the Virginia Medicaid program, representing that respite care had been provided by her company to 30 Medicaid recipients when, in fact, no such care had been provided.

She used the recipients’ names, dates of birth and Medicaid identification numbers to file the false claims and received payments of about $630,000 to which she was not entitled, according to the press release.

She also altered her office records to conceal the false billings, according to the release.

Respite care is designed to provide temporary care that is typically provided by a family member or other unpaid, primary caregiver. It can be needed because of an emergency absence or the need for routine relief of the primary caregiver, according to the release.

Holland was indicted on the charges in May.

The office was located at 813 W. Washington St. The Federal Bureau of Investigations in November confirmed it was conducting an investigation into the business after News-Herald inquiries.

Several employees of the business in November claimed their pay had been spotty or nonexistent for several weeks. They said their paychecks had been delayed, checks bounced, or the checks simply never came. One employee said she was sometimes asked to wait until the next day before cashing her check. On at least one occasion, employees found the door to the office locked when they had been told they could come pick up their checks.

The case also was investigated by the Office of the Virginia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.