|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor executed multiple search warrants today and arrested the owner/operator of a Union County home health aide agency for allegedly billing Medicaid for services that were never rendered.
Laurie Provost, 53, of Sea Girt, was charged today with seven counts of second-degree health care claims fraud and one count of third-degree Medicaid fraud.
“Defrauding the Medicaid program is a very serious crime that puts an unfair burden on honest taxpayers and takes money out of a system meant to help those who are most vulnerable,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will continue to be vigilant in prosecuting these high priority cases.”
Provost is the owner/operator of Home Care Solutions, located on Commerce Drive in Cranford. Home Care Solutions (HCS) is a home health aid agency that sends home health aides to the homes of Medicaid beneficiaries to provide them with appropriate care. The agency also contracts with skilled medical professionals to provide specialized services to patients who require care.
Today’s charges focus on alleged fraudulent billings by HCS from 2011 to the present. Provost, through HCS, allegedly submitted numerous fraudulent claims to Medicaid and/or one of the managed care organizations that provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries and processes provider claims and payments on behalf of the Medicaid program. It is alleged that Provost knowingly submitted requests for payment for services that were not provided, including billing for services purportedly provided to Medicaid beneficiaries by home health care aides while the beneficiaries were hospitalized or on vacation.
Detectives with the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor executed a search warrant today at HCS. They also executed search warrants for Provost’s residence in Sea Girt and her 2009 Porsche Cayenne.
Deputy Attorney General Christopher Ruzich and Detective Anthony Iannice of the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit coordinated the investigation. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi thanked the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller for referring the matter to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and fine of up to $15,000. Because they are indictable offenses, the charges will be presented to a state grand jury for potential indictment.