Three Health Agencies Sued For Using Unqualified ‘Home Health Aides’

December 24, 2009 

On December 17, 2009, the office of the New York Attorney General announced a $24 million settlement to a False Claims Act lawsuit involving three home health agencies. The agencies utilized hundreds of “home health aides” with little or no required training. These aides were sent to the homes of New York’s elderly, frail and indigent to provide sensitive medical care they were not qualified to administer. As a result, Medicaid was billed millions of dollars for illegitimate services.

Under the terms of the settlement, B&H Health Care Services, Inc., known as Nursing Personnel Home Care, Excellent Home Care Services, LLC, and Extended Nursing Personnel CHHA, LLC, will return $23,963,100 to Medicaid–a program jointly funded by the state and federal governments. Of this amount, the State of New York will receive a total of $14,377,860.

The settlements were initiated by lawsuits filed under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private citizens to file suit on behalf of the United States for fraud and share in any recovery. Maurice Keshner will receive approximately $1,693,343 from New York’s recovery from Nursing Personnel. Deborah Yannicelli will receive approximately $994,080 from New York’s recovery from Extended and Excellent. The Act also provides protection against job retaliation for whistleblowing.

Medicaid requires home health aides – who primarily care for elderly patients, administer medication, and provide services such as catheter care, colostomy care and wound care – to successfully complete a training program licensed by the Department of Health or the State Education Department. All such aides must receive a minimum of 75 hours of training, including sixteen hours of supervised practical training conducted by a registered nurse.
If you are seeing fraud on the government, contact us by calling 800-377-1812 for strictly confidential advice from experienced counsel, with no fee obligation.