Suffolk County Home Care Nurse Was Paid $150,000 To Do Nothing; Gets Jail, Pays Back $168k
ALBANY NY (July 30, 2007) Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a home care nurse who falsely billed Medicaid for over $150,000 was sent to jail.
"We invest a great deal of trust - and taxpayer dollars - in home care providers, and must hold them to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism -- this nurse failed to live up to those standards," Attorney General Cuomo said. "We will continue to aggressively pursue anyone who abuses this vital component of New York's health care system."
Claudette Davis, 61, collected money for care she did not provide to her patient, a severely mentally and physically challenged child patient. She also took the child out of the state, despite rules forbidding her from doing so. Davis was sentenced by Acting Suffolk County Court Judge Jack Toomey to 60 days in jail, and has already paid $168,000 in restitution.
Davis was employed through the Medicaid “Care at Home” program, which pays for nurses to provide care in the homes of disabled patients under the age of 18. For nearly six years from 2000 through 2005, Davis collected $154,431 for care she did not provide, and for care she provided during long stints out of state unaccompanied by the patient's family members, which the program does not permit.
MFCU investigators further discovered that Davis billed Medicaid for 10 trips she took - without the patient - to Montego Bay, Jamaica and to Orlando, Florida, where in early 2005 she bought a home.
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Alan Buonpastore of the MFCU regional office in Hauppauge, under the supervision of Special Deputy Attorney General Heidi Wendel, head of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Supervising Associate Auditor Investigator Margaret McArdle, Special Auditor Investigator Dan Layer, Senior Investigators James Haefner (now retired), Thomas McBride and Investigative Trainee Nasim Ahmad contributed to the case.