We only have 24 hours in a day.  Do you spend your time wisely?  Some people are amazingly efficient and can simultaneously complete multiple tasks without being tempted by distractions at all.  Then there are others who need help with time management skills to make the most of each day.  An Ohio home health aide thought she could multi-task by combining her gambling addiction with “on the job duties,” but soon found out that the odds were not in her favor.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that a Cleveland-area woman billed Medicaid for services she did not provide, while nursing a serious gambling addition in casinos and resorts across four states including Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Mississippi.  She claimed that she was providing care for two patients at the same time in different homes and even billed the state for working more than 24 hours in a day.  In fact, between December 2006 and May 2012, the fraudster billed Medicaid for a total of 15,000 hours that she didn’t work. (Time is money, so they say.)

The swindler did not act alone. (They rarely do.) She had two Medicaid recipient accomplices, who accepted kickbacks to cover up the fraud. (At least she was accomplished in one time management technique – outsourcing and delegating.) Both of the Cleveland residents pleaded guilty to charges of complicity to commit theft and were ordered to pay a total of $179,000 in restitution.  The health aide will be serving a two-year prison term and will have to pay back the Ohio Department of Medicaid more than $234,000.

Casinos usually do not have clocks or windows because owners are betting that patrons will forget how long they’ve been inside and spend more money on their dream of being the next big winner. (Just one more game. I just know I can win the jackpot.) Ironically, a prison, which also is usually short on windows and clocks, will be the home of this fraud offender for the near future.  There will be plenty of time for her to reflect on how to make better use of her time when her sentence is up. (Such as caring for patients who legitimately need Medicaid support.)

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