State Auditors Report Improper Medicaid Payments of $900K to Franklin County Provider
Columbus – A Franklin County Medicaid provider that administered some of its care with unqualified staff improperly billed the state for more than $900,000 worth of services, according to a report released today.
Gardenia Home Health Care, based in Whitehall, was paid $5.8 million by the Ohio Department of Medicaid from 2013 through 2015. But a Medicaid examination conducted by the Auditor of State’s office found the company was not eligible to receive $900,669 of the amount.
The review disclosed that a little more than half of the 250 personal care aide services tested were provided by employees who were not certified in first aid at the time.
“A lack of up-to-date first aid training creates an ever-present risk to the patient if something were to go wrong,” Auditor Yost said. “If an emergency occurred, there’s no telling how an untrained employee would react.”
In a separate sample of physical therapy, nursing and home health aide services, auditors determined that the company claimed reimbursement for 197 services that were not yet authorized by a physician. With interest, the company owes the state $979,064.
A special report released by Auditor Yost in February details the costs and dangers of noncompliance in Ohio’s Medicaid program. Legislation introduced in the fall with the support of Auditor Yost aims to curb these risks with tougher safeguards for high-risk providers.
A full copy of the Gardenia Home Health Care report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.