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Home health aide charged with Medicaid fraud

Rochester Business Journal
August 20, 2014

An area home health aide has been charged with felony Medicaid fraud for turning in phony time sheets, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday.

Alicia Santiago, 54, of Rochester was arraigned Tuesday night in Gates Town Court on two felony counts of grand larceny. The charges stem from Santiago’s submission of allegedly fake timesheets in which she falsely claimed to have worked 186 hours.

The alleged fraud was uncovered and reported to the Attorney General by Innovative Care LLC after an agency employee noticed that Santiago had submitted time sheets claiming to have cared for a client after that client had died, Innovative Care owner Etta Aslam said. 

The client— identified in the Attorney General’s statement only by the initials, R.S—was a relative of Santiago’s.

According to a felony complaint submitted by the Attorney General’s office, an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Unit discovered that Santiago was actually working as a certified nursing assistant for a Brighton nursing home during the hours she claimed to be caring for the deceased client,.

Santiago’s work as a home health aide came through Monroe County’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program. Known as CDPAP, the program lets Medicaid-eligible clients choose and directly hire aides.

Third-party contractors such as Innovative Care bill Medicaid but have no hand in hiring CDPAP aides, Aslam said.  

Santiago submitted the allegedly fake time sheets to Innovative Care over a five-month period stretching from Nov. 30, 2012 to April 26, 2013. She collected some $1,800 for the 186 hours she claimed to have worked as an aide to the deceased client. Medicaid billings in the alleged fraud came to $3,958.23.

Santiago is slated to return to Gates Town Court Sept. 10. She could face a two-year-and-four-month to seven-year prison term. 
    
(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.
 



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