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  • Writer's pictureJames A. Gustino

HOME HEALTH SERVICES AGENCY OWNER AND PARENT OF DISABLED CHILD BUSTED FOR MEDICAID FRAUD

//Latrena Marie Thomas ... is accused of hiring non-licensed individuals to provide hands-on personal care services to Medicaid recipients. In addition, Thomas paid Donald Ray Adams II, a parent of a disabled Medicaid recipient, to provide medically licensed care for his own child. In total, Thomas fraudulently billed Medicaid claims for 30 distinct medically needy Medicaid recipients, which caused a total loss of more than $1.6 million.


Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This fraudulent billing scheme not only defrauded the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $1.6 million but did so at the expense of Medicaid-dependent recipients, one being a disabled child. In addition to manipulating the system for extra money, the hiring of unqualified and unlicensed medical staff resulted in poor treatment and medical emergencies for Medicaid patients. I’m grateful for our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for putting a stop to this scheme.”


According to the investigation, Thomas and the agency hired employees not licensed as certified nursing assistants or home-health aides to provide hands-on personal care to Medicaid recipients. Several of these unqualified employees would have failed the Level 2 background screening that is required by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Thomas did not have a Director of Nursing on staff to provide oversight of the licensed practical nurses and other staff employed by A River’s Journey. Thomas also falsified the agency’s employee roster, progress notes, service logs and plan-of-care documents, and billed for a recipient’s 24/7 nursing care while paying Adams. Thomas’s negligent assignment of unqualified staff to recipients created three separate medical emergencies, including a trach tube dislodging, extreme sunburn and a delay in contacting Emergency Medical Services.//


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