Woman sentenced for Medicaid fraud

Published 9:12 pm Monday, December 17, 2012

A former employee of a home health care provider in Suffolk will spend 10 months in prison for altering records to conceal Medicaid fraud, officials announced Monday.

Lynette Smith, 41, of Suffolk, will be under supervised release for three years following her sentence, according to the release.

According to court documents, Smith was employed as a staffing manager by Suffolk-based A Caring Hand Home Health Care Services Inc., which was owned and operated by Janice W. Holland.

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A Caring Hand was authorized to provide home health care services, including respite care, to Medicaid recipients. But from January 2008 through October 2011, Holland submitted about 900 fraudulent claims for payment for services to 30 Medicaid recipients when no such services had actually been provided, according to a news release after the sentencing.

As a result, Holland obtained payments of about $630,000 to which she was not entitled, according to the release.

From September 2010 through Oct. 6, 2011, Holland, Smith and other staff members altered office records to cover up the fraud, the news release says. On multiple occasions, Holland and Smith met with staff members and directed them to create false and fraudulent time sheets, apparently because the two were aware of an upcoming scheduled audit, the news release says.

About 12 staff members knowingly committed the alterations and falsifications.

Holland pleaded guilty to health care fraud, alteration of records and aggravated identity theft and will be sentenced on Jan. 22, 2013.