The Louisiana Department of Health has terminated Medicaid provider agreements with 13 Louisiana health care providers and medical supply companies after they came under indictment in a widespread Medicare fraud investigation launched by the federal government.
“I think our administration has made it clear there is no place in our health care system for people who want to steal from taxpayers,” LDH Secretary Alan Levine. “We worked with Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to develop one of the most aggressive anti-fraud systems in the country. This most recent action underscores our continued commitment to protect taxpayer dollars from fraud.”
The action came after 94 providers across the country, including several in Louisiana, were indicted by the federal government in a series of Medicare fraud schemes. The federal government manages Medicare, the nation’s health care program for older Americans. Of those, 13 Louisiana-based providers also had agreements with the state’s Medicaid program, the health care program for the poor which is managed by the state.
“As soon as we were apprised of the federal investigation into Medicare fraud, I directed our staff to see if any of those indicted also had agreements with us through the Medicaid program and to terminate those contracts effective immediately because of their troubles with Medicare,” Levine said. “At the same time, we are launching our own investigation into the Medicaid billing practices of those entities.”
Letters notifying providers of the termination of their Medicaid agreements were sent to:
Liberty Medical Services; Benjamin Amadi, owner (Baton Rouge)
Liberty Health Care Supply, LLC; Benjamin Amadi, owner (Baton Rouge)
Medical Supply of Baton Rouge; Samuel Johnson and Thompson Chinwoh, owners
Alpha Medical Solutions, Inc.; Emmanuel Mbang-Komandu, owner (Baker)
Alpha Medical Solutions Home Care, Inc.; Emmanuel Mbang, owner (Baker)
Dr. Dahlia Kirkpatrick (Thibodaux)
Healthcare 1, LLC; Chikeena D. Jones, owner (Baton Rouge)
Lifeline Healthcare Supplies; Chikeena D. Jones, owner (Baton Rouge)
Unique Medical Solutions, Inc.; Nnanta Felix Ngari, owner (Baton Rouge)
Dr. Sofjan Lamid (Mandeville)
Lobdale Medical Services; Young Anyanwu, owner (Baton Rouge)
Janus Medical Group; c/o Dr. Anthony Jase (New Orleans)
Dr. Anthony Jase (New Orleans)
Termination of provider agreements is outlined in state law, which allows the Secretary of LDH to terminate a provider agreement immediately and without written notice if a health care provider is the subject of a sanction or of a criminal, civil or departmental proceeding.
All Medicaid enrollees connected to the providers implicated are being notified and will be provided options to select other providers who take Medicaid patients.
Medicaid and Medicare fraud continued to plague the nation’s health care system. The Obama administration acknowledged earlier this year that more than $55 billion of improper payments was made in Medicaid and Medicare last year alone. Estimates of several organizations, including attorneys general, the Government Accountability Office and the FBI have estimated that 10 percent of all Medicaid expenses are diverted through fraud.
Since Louisiana initiated its crackdown on Medicaid fraud two years ago, identification of improper payments increased by 337 percent from $1.4 million in fiscal year 2007 to more than $6.2 million in fiscal year 2009. Of the improper payments identified, DHH’s recovery rate increased from 73 percent in fiscal year 2006 to 93 percent in fiscal year 2009, with collections increasing from $1.6 million in fiscal year 2005 to $5.85 million in fiscal year 2009.
"Particularly considering the financial challenges the Medicaid program continues to face, we have to do everything possible to keep fraudulent activity at bay," Levine said. "It is theft, plain and simple, theft from hardworking taxpayers and it is not tolerated in this state."
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov.