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Vegas personal care assistant charged with Medicaid fraud

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Updated: 9/10/2012 12:09 pm
LAS VEGAS -- James Hanna, 70, of Las Vegas, was sentenced today in a Medicaid fraud case involving false reporting of personal care services.

“Medicaid-funded health service providers who defraud the system, whether individual persons or large agencies, will be pursued and prosecuted,” said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. “This turned out to be an expensive vacation that we hope Hanna won’t soon forget. Prosecution of this type sends a message that Nevada does not tolerate Medicaid fraud.”

The investigation began in 2011 after Nevada Medicaid provided information to the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) that Hanna had claimed he provided Personal Care Assistant (PCA) services to a Medicaid recipient who did not actually receive all of the services.

The investigation showed Hanna had gone on out-of-state vacations, yet submitted claims as if he continually provided Nevada based service to the recipient.

Additionally, Hanna had regularly claimed providing services during times that he was employed and present at another job.

Hanna did not contest the matter and was adjudicated guilty of a misdemeanor offense of submission of false Medicaid claims. Justice of the Peace Ann E. Zimmerman ordered Hanna to repay $6,800 in restitution, penalties and costs. Persons and businesses convicted of Medicaid fraud may be excluded from future Medicaid participation.

The Medicaid PCA program enables people to live independently in their own homes by providing assistance with basic personal care services. Medicaid contracts with home care companies that employ individuals, like Hanna, who provide day-to-day care.

The MFCU also investigates and prosecutes instances of elder abuse or neglect. Anyone wishing to report suspicions regarding any of these concerns may contact the MFCU at (775) 684-1191 or (702) 486-3187.

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