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Woman Owes $65k after Medicaid Fraud Conviction

Published On: Jan 27 2014 10:22:17 PM AKST   Updated On: Jan 27 2014 10:30:53 PM AKST
Health, medical research

An Anchorage woman was sentenced to jail and ordered to repay nearly $65,000 after being found guilty of falsely billing Medicaid for patient services.

Prosecutors with the Alaska Medicaid Fraud Control unit say Lorie Nabong Batac, 37, worked full time for the city of Anchorage as a property tax assessor, and part time at Home Depot, while billing Medicaid for personal care attendant services.

Batac was found guilty of repeatedly billing patients for services while they were traveling internationally, and for billing patients in Anchorage while she traveled in Hawaii and California.

During the investigation, “we looked at her (job with the municipality) to track her time off, and we looked at domestic and international travel records,” said Andrew Peterson, the head of the Medical Fraud Control Unit under the Attorney General’s office.

Customs and immigration officials provided those records, and “we were able to show her patients were traveling internationally … while Ms. Batac was here in Alaska” billing for care, Peterson said.

Prosecutors say Batac also billed Medicaid for services performed during hours working at Home Depot, and was found to have billed two Medicaid recipients at the same time for services.

“One of the difficult aspects of the PCA industry is you often have family members providing care for one another,” Peterson said. “In this case, at least one recipient of service was her father, and another was her father’s wife.”

Peterson could not say whether the patients used in Batac’s claims knew they were part of the fraud.

Batac was formally convicted of one count of felony Medical Assistance Fraud. She faces a year in jail, a decade of probation, and $64,665 in restitution payments. Peterson said Batac also faces a lifetime ban for performing Medicaid billing services unless she applies for a variance to allow her to perform those services again.

Since October 2012 the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has collected about $231,000 in restitution through 47 convictions, Peterson noted.