Thursday, August 7, 2008

Medicaid Paid $373,810.65 .......

A Dallas woman, Rebecca Swanson, who owned and operated a drug and alcohol counseling service in Dallas, pled guilty in federal court to health care fraud and aiding and abetting. Swanson faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution arising from all relevant conduct.

A federal grand jury indicted Swanson, in February on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud, and a warrant was issued for her arrest. In May she was arrested and she has been in federal custody since that time.

From April 2001 to August 2003, Swanson owned and operated Life Share Therapy Foundation (LSTF), a counseling services business located first in Dallas and then later in Lancaster, Texas. She made financial decisions for the business and controlled LSTF’s bank account. In May 2001 LSTF was granted a Texas Medicaid provider number was approved by Medicaid to render counseling services through a Medicaid program known as School Health and Related Services (SHARS). Services available under SHARS included counseling for children who had suffered emotional, psychological, or other forms of abuse. Medicaid reimbursed providers of such counseling a preset rate for each 15-minute segment of counseling services rendered.

From May 2001 through August 2003, Swanson, using LSTF’s Medicaid provider number, executed a scheme to defraud Texas Medicaid by submitting fraudulent claims falsely representing that LSTF had provided individual counseling services through SHARS to Medicaid clients, when in fact, they had not. Swanson’s fraudulent claims also falsely represented that the Medicaid clients for whom the claims were submitted had suffered child abuse, emotional abuse or psychological abuse. Each bogus claim submitted by Swanson sought reimbursement for multiple 15-minute segment counseling sessions, falsely representing that the duration of each session had been no less than one hour and as long as two hours.

Rebecca Swanson admitted that a result of the fraudulent claims she submitted through LSTF, Medicaid paid a total of $373,810.65 to LSTF. Swanson admits using these funds for her own personal use.

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