KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Investigators Raid N.Y. Senate Official’s Office, Seeking Evidence In Medicare, Medicaid Fraud Lawsuit

The New York Times: "Federal and state investigators raided the Bronx offices of the Soundview HealthCare Network early Wednesday, seeking records as part of a joint investigation into the business and political activities of the Senate majority leader, Pedro Espada, Jr. More than a dozen agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, joined by investigators from the office of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, arrived at Soundview's offices on White Plains Road shortly before 7 a.m., when the first employees arrived to open the doors for the day. The raid came one day after Mr. Cuomo filed a broad civil lawsuit against Mr. Espada, a Bronx Democrat, and 19 other current and former Soundview officials, accusing them of 'looting' at least $14 million from the nonprofit organization to pay for Mr. Espada's personal and campaign expenses."

"Mr. Cuomo's civil suit accused Mr. Espada of siphoning Soundview funds - much of it Medicare and Medicaid funding from the state and federal governments - to pay for restaurant meals, legal fees and campaign expenses, including $100,000 worth of mailings to voters" (Confessore and Rashbaum, 4/21).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: "A Brooklyn Park home health-care provider for low-income clients pleaded guilty to paying kickbacks to lure referrals to his company as part of a scheme to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent Medicaid reimbursements. Patrick D. Osei, owner of Advance Home Health, admitted Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis that he submitted claims to the federal Department of Health and Human Services for personal care assistance services that were never provided. The estimated losses due to Osei's actions totaled between $200,000 and $400,000" (Walsh, 4/21).

Orlando Sentinel: "An Orlando woman is facing allegations she defrauded the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $84,000, Attorney General Bill McCollum announced today. Xiomara A. Honor, owner of Morning Star Ministries of Central Florida, Inc., was arrested today by law enforcement officers with the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a news release said. … She faces one count of Medicaid fraud, a third-degree felony, records show" (Connolly, 4/21). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.