Written by Steven Henshaw
Reading, PA —
State authorities have charged a Reading woman with $15,500 in Medicaid fraud, alleging she submitted false information to an agency coordinating her home health care services for a woman with whom she resided.
Vanessa M. Vargas, 29, submitted her work hours for attendant-care services to one agency while simultaneously submitting billing for the same hours for services to the same woman to another agency, officials with the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office said in the criminal complaint filed Thursday.
This led to an overpayment of about $15,500 by the state Medical Assistance program, officials said.
Vargas of the 300 block of South Fourth Street was charged with felony counts of Medicaid fraud, submitting false claims, and theft by deception or false impression.
According to investigators:
Vargas was approved as a personal care attendant, also known as a direct-care worker, for a woman with whom she resided.
Under the state’s Waiver Program, these people provide services to eligible individuals with physical disabilities as a way to avoid institutionalization. Personal-care attendants assist with activities of daily living, which generally include bathing, dressing and personal hygiene, and possibly meal preparation, medication management and common household chores.
Under the program, agencies approved by the Medical Assistance program handle payroll and service coordination. The home health care worker submits the billable hours for approval.
Vargas provided attendant-care services to the woman since at least July 2015, but officials allege the double billing occurred between May 8, 2017, and Sept. 1, 2017.
They determined Varga gave the false impression that her services were provided through one service-coordination agency when in fact those services had been transferred to another agency.
Vargas remained free to await a hearing following arraignment before Senior District Judge Thomas H. Xavios in Reading Central Court.
This content was originally published here.