A.G. Schneiderman Announces $1 Million Settlement With Brooklyn Agency Employing Unqualfied Home Health Aides
Renaissance Home Health Care Aides Were Poorly Trained; Company Charged Medicaid For Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars For Substandard Care To Sick Elderly
Schneiderman: Our Elderly Neighbors Deserve The Quality Care Paid For By Our Taxpayers
NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch today announced that New York State and the United States have entered into settlement agreements with a home health agency that resolves allegations it submitted false claims to the State Medicaid program by sending poorly trained, and in some cases untrained, home-health aides to care for the elderly and infirm. Under the terms of the agreements, Parkshore Home Health Care, LLC,d/b/a Renaissance Home Health Care, Inc. (“Renaissance”), a Brooklyn-based and state-licensed home care services agency, will return $1 million to Medicaid, a program jointly funded by the state and federal governments. New York will receive $600,000 of the total.
“This home health care agency hired workers with false training certificates, who then went out into the community and into the homes of the vulnerable and elderly.” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “This was preventable and our investigations show that is a recurring problem in home health care. This Office will continue to recover Medicaid funds from providers who do not protect the Medicaid program.”
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynchsaid, “When companies that provide home health aides fail to take the necessary steps to ensure the proper training for their aides, patients are the ones who can suffer. We will continue working to stop health care fraud from being committed on the Medicare and Medicaid programs, especially when the fraud can impact the care received by vulnerable patients.”
The New York State Medicaid program requires home health aides to successfully complete a training program licensed by the Department of Health or the State Education Department. The aides primarily care for elderly patients, administer medication and provide services such as catheter care, colostomy care and wound care. Today’s settlement arises from the agency’s use of aides who had received little or no required training. The settlement covers home-health hours billed from 2005 to 2007 for services rendered in the New York metropolitan region, primarily in Brooklyn. The agency, located at 1222 East 96th Street, sent these aides into the homes of New York’s elderly, frail and indigent to provide necessary medical care on a daily basis and often for extended periods of time. The company then caused Medicaid to be billed for hundreds of thousands of dollars of services performed by aides who were not qualified to provide that care.
The allegations resolved by today’s settlements were initiated by a lawsuit filed in 2007 under the whistleblower provisions of the New York False Claims Act in Manhattan Supreme Court, which allow private citizens to file suit on behalf of the State of New York for fraud and share in any recovery.
The state case was handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Jill Brenner,under the supervision of MFCU Civil Enforcement Division Chief Amy Held,Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan. The investigation was conducted by Principal Special Auditor Investigator Paul Erhardt and Associate Special Auditor Investigator Cristina Marin, under the supervision of Regional Chief Auditor Thomasina Smith.