Las Vegas Sun

May 24, 2015

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Health worker gets probation in Medicaid fraud case

A health worker was sentenced Wednesday to probation and ordered to pay restitution in a Medicaid fraud case prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s office.

District Court Judge Elissa Cadish sentenced Beulah Upshaw, 35, to a 60-day suspended jail sentence, $4,400 in restitution and three years of probation. Upshaw will also be responsible for penalties and costs, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said in a statement about the case.

“The continued prosecution of this type of crime is sending a message to the health care community that fraudulent activities involving Medicaid recipients will not go unpunished,” she said.

Upshaw pleaded guilty in August to failure to maintain adequate records, which is a gross misdemeanor.

The state learned in 2007 that personal care aid services weren’t being provided to a Medicaid recipient. An investigation found that Upshaw wasn’t at patients’ homes during time periods she claimed to be providing services, the attorney general’s office said.

Upshaw, like other personal care workers, was contracted by Medicaid to provide basic services like bathing, dressing, cleaning and meal preparation as part of a program designed to help keep people independent and living in their own homes.

The Nevada Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes instances of elder abuse or neglect and financial fraud by those providing for Medicaid patients. To report suspicions of Medicaid fraud, contact the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 702-486-3187.

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