A fraud trial pending in Federal Court in Philadelphia is providing glimpse into the sad world of fraud amongst home health care agencies. The trial involved four employees of MultiEthnic Behavior Services, Inc., a now defunct home health care agency, who were billing for home nursing services that they never provided.
The fraud was discovered following the death of 14-year-old Danieal Kelly, a girl suffering from cerebral palsy, that MultiEthnic was responsible for caring for. An investigation into her death revealed that Danieal’s case worker– a MultiEthnic employee– failed to provide medical care to her that they were charging for.
According to Cindy Christian, co-director at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, the home health agencies failure to provide care resulted in medical conditions that contributed to Danieal’s death. Shortly before her death, Danieal suffered from extreme malnourishment and advanced bed sores. In describing the bed sores at the fraud trial, Christian described the bed sores (also referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers), ‘they were the multiple and severe, the most severe they could be.”
Testimony at the fraud trial further revealed that had the home health care workers chosen to visit Daniel’s home, they would have been able to smell her bed sores because they wounds were so severe that the smell of rotting flesh was pronounced.
Sadly, Danieal is probably one of many people who suffered because this home health care agency failed to do their job. According to her caseworker, he fabricated 60% of his progress reports during his four years with the agency. Further, he had no experience when he was hired and received no training from agency supervisors.
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