TALLAHASSEE- Attorney General Bill McCollum has announced his
office has filed suit against a Pinellas County medical services provider
for submitting false claims to the Florida Medicaid program. Gift of Life
Community Services, Inc., a company specializing in mental health-targeted
case management services, is being sued under the False Claims Act and
could face damages of more than $3 million.
"This case demonstrates nothing more than one million dollars worth
of greed," said Attorney General McCollum. "It is critical we prevent
companies from profiting from services that were intended to assist those
with true mental health needs."
Investigators with the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
determined that the false claims involved targeted case management
services. These services are intended to assist Medicaid recipients, who
are suffering from mental health disorders, gain access to much needed
services, including medical, social and educational assistance.
The complaint alleges that Gift of Life's case managers routinely
billed Medicaid up to $40 per hour for activity that was not targeted case
management and therefore, not billable to the Medicaid program. The
investigation revealed that the company billed Medicaid for the time case
managers spent taking children shopping, picking up and delivering a
birthday cake, baby-sitting, running errands for foster mothers, attending
recreational outings or simply being present while other providers rendered
The complaint also alleges that when Gift of Life provided actual
case management services, their case managers routinely inflated the amount
of time claimed. Gift of Life then submitted those inflated claims to
Medicaid for payment. The investigators and attorneys handling the lawsuit
estimate the amount of actual damages to be over $1 million. The lawsuit
seeks triple the actual damages plus $10,000 for each false claim submitted
by Gift of Life.