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Post date: July 16 2001

Owner Of Long Island Medicaid Management Company Charged With Stealing $65,000 From Taxpayers

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Florence Luetters, the owner of a Hicksville company that obtains nursing and other services for chronically ill homebound children, has been charged with stealing more than $65,000 from the Medicaid program by falsifying the extent of services that were provided to patients.

"While helping scores of sick children get the critical health care services they needed, the defendant used her position to illegally charge State taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars for her own personal gain," said Spitzer. "This investigation and prosecution by my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit drives home our message that we will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those individuals who abuse the Medicaid program and steal from the taxpayers of this State."

Luetters, 52, of 59 Scooter Lane in Hicksville, was arraigned today before Nassau County Court Judge Jeffrey S. Brown on a 21-count indictment, charging her with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, ten counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, and ten counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. If convicted, she faces up to fifteen years in prison.

As the owner and chief operator of CAH [Care-At-Home] Renaissance Rehabilitation Services, Luetters submitted numerous reimbursement claims to the Medicaid program between January 1996 and February 1999 in which she overstated the extent of the company's case management services provided to Medicaid recipients.

CAH Renaissance Rehabilitation Services is located at 107 Broadway and 560 South Broadway, both in Hicksville.

In 1989, Renaissance Rehabilitation became a provider of case management services under the Care-At-Home (CAH) Program, also known as the Katie Beckett Waiver Program. The CAH Program was created by former President Ronald Reagan in response to the plight of Katie Beckett's mother who, because her daughter would lose her Medicaid coverage, could not afford to take Katie out of the hospital to live at home.

The CAH Program corrected this inequity by extending Medicaid coverage, as the payor of "last resort," to disabled children institutionalized over 30 days, without consideration of parental income or resources. The CAH Program, implemented by New York State in December 1985, uses case managers, such as Renaissance Rehabilitation Services, to formulate a home care plan, for chronically ill children at home who have received such a special financial "waiver." Special Assistant Attorney General Michael L. Rice, Deputy Director of the Long Island Regional Office of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, is prosecuting the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

The charges against Luetters are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.