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posted on June 10, 2009 10:48
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                          Emily Simnitt
June 10, 2009                                                                                                         (208) 334-0693
Boise Woman Ordered to Repay $40,874 For Medicaid Fraud
A 42-year-old Boise woman accused of fraudulently billing Medicaid was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay $40,874 in restitution to Medicaid earlier this month.
Lesa McConnel was sentenced in US District Court on June 3rd by Judge A. Wallace Tashima after pleading guilty in March to one count of health care fraud. McConnel’s sentence also includes three years of supervised release. She paid $25,000 in restitution prior to sentencing.
A joint investigation by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and Idaho Health and Welfare’s Medicaid Program Integrity Unit revealed McConnel billed Medicaid for mental health clinic services without valid treatment plans. Medicaid requires a licensed physician to approve and sign off on treatment plans for mental health clinic services. A valid treatment plan is required for payment.
At the time of the investigation, McConnel was the director, co-owner and licensed clinical social worker of Alta Addictions and Mental Health Services, Alta Counseling Associates and Alta Services in Boise.
The Bureau of Audits and Investigations encourages Idahoans to contact them at (208) 334-5754 if they suspect any kind of Medicaid fraud or abuse.
"We take all suspected Medicaid fraud or abuse very seriously," says Steve Bellomy, who heads Health and Welfare's Bureau of Audits and Investigations. "Medicaid helps Idaho's most vulnerable citizens receive the care they need. It is vital that we are vigilant of any misuse.  Fortunately, fraud is rare among the Medical professionals that serve Medicaid clients."
(Editors: For more information please contact Department of Health and Welfare Public Information Officer Emily Simnitt, 208-334-0693.)