McCortney Family In-Home Care News

25 charged in bogus home care scheme; prosecutors call it DC's largest health-care fraud

25 charged in bogus home care scheme; prosecutors call it DC’s largest health-care fraud

This article from U.S. News and World Report is another example of how hard it is to track caregivers providing in-home care in a senior adult’s home.

The alleged schemes, which prosecutors said were similar but not necessarily part of a unified conspiracy, involved bogus claims for home care services, …. The uptick in billings for home care – from $40 million in 2006 to $280 million last year – was part of what tipped off authorities to illegal activity, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said.

How do you know when the caregiver who is supposed to be caring for your parents arrives at the home? How do you know when they leave? “Can you really prove that they showed up at all?” Did they stay the entire time that they are getting paid for? These questions are nearly impossible to answer if you are using a private caregiver in the home of someone with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or the confusion that often comes with any advancing illness.

Our company uses technology to solve this problem. “Our trained caregivers use the client’s telephone to “clock in” at work. This phone call, made to a toll free number, is connected to our internet based scheduling system.” That system checks the caller ID of the phone call to ensure the phone call was made from your parent’s home and it checks the employee’s ID number which is entered on the phone call. “With this technology, we are able to know for sure that our caregiver is exactly where they say they are.” If they have not clocked in for a scheduled caregiving visit, our office staff gets alerts through text message and email alerting them to the absence. “We quickly try to find out what the issue is to make sure your mom or dad is getting the care they need.” (The #1 reason for these alerts seems to be that the senior adult was on the phone when the caregiver arrived at work.)

The caregiver also repeats this phone call process at the end of the visit. “This ensure that they didn’t leave early.” We use the time of both of those phone calls to prepare bills, so you don’t pay for time that the caregiver wasn’t there. Bills are done down to the exact minute. You will never be billed for time that the caregiver wasn’t at the home.

There is probably no way to totally avoid fraud in this type of senior care, but our company has done all it can to prevent it. Through technology and our intense caregiver screening process, we hope to have done as much as possible to keep your parents safe and to give you peace of mind.