The Honeymoon’s Over

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The national average cost of a wedding is $35,329, while the average honeymoon comes in between $4,000 and $5,000. If you don’t want to start out your married life in debt, it’s a good idea to come up with a budget and spend wisely. Today’s fraudster from Arkansas provided personal care to a man, who later became her husband. As the man’s spouse, she committed Medicaid fraud by seeking reimbursement that she was not entitled to receive. (Not exactly the way you want to go about funding your future lives together.)

In most states, family members can be paid by Medicaid to provide personal care to their loved ones. But, there are only eight states where Medicaid will pay legal guardians and spouses for providing care. (Arkansas is not one of them.)

Today’s article states that the caregiver had been legally billing Medicaid for services she provided to her patient prior to their marriage. (When she married her patient, that’s when she became ineligible to be compensated by the government healthcare program in the State of Arkansas.)

Perhaps the woman was unaware that she could not legally bill Medicaid after getting married. (It could have been an honest mistake.) Or, perhaps she figured that they could honeymoon permanently on the government’s dime after tying the knot. While a motive was not mentioned behind the caregiver’s fraudulent actions, she and her spouse are now in a spat with the government. (I think I know who’s going to win this argument.)

The 51-year-old husband was prosecuted first. He pleaded guilty and received five years of probation and must pay $5,232 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program. He also owes $500 in fines and court costs.

The patient’s 60-year-old caregiver and wife pleaded guilty to a form of Medicaid fraud involving theft of property by deception. She also received five years of probation and must pay the same amount of restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund, plus fines and court costs. It looks like this Arkansas couple’s Medicaid fraud honeymoon is officially over.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Judge sentences Izard County woman to Medicaid fraudposted on ky3.com on June 5, 2017.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the conviction of an Izard County woman for marrying a patient she was caring for, which would make her ineligible to be paid by the Medicaid program, and continuing to provide care.

Anna Moore pleaded guilty in Pulaski County Circuit Court and was sentenced to five years probation and to pay $5,232 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund, $500 in fines and court costs.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.