Monday, April 13, 2009

Reports of Fraud Going Without Investigation

Loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia have allowed fraud to fester in a rapidly expanding multibillion-dollar state program that provides personal caregivers to the impoverished elderly and disabled. Hundreds of reports of scams and swindles are going without investigation.

Prosecutors and program administrators across the state say they are alarmed by the ease with which people are taking advantage of the program, In Home Supportive Services.

The program is one of the fastest growing in state government. This year it is budgeted at $5.42 billion to provide care for some 440,000 Californians. The aim is to allow low-income and elderly incapacitated people to remain in their homes, saving the state the expense of costly nursing homes. Experts generally consider it a success.

But government funds are flowing in so quickly, with such limited oversight, that prosecutors say it is common for the state to send paychecks to scam artists claiming to be caring for someone who is dead. Or claiming to be caring for a relative or friend faking a disability. Or claiming to be providing care during the same hours they are working elsewhere.

Michael Ramsey, the district attorney in Butte County in Northern California, which disbanded its In Home Supportive Services fraud unit in 2007 because of budget cuts: "This program is very easy to abuse. It invites chicanery and fraud."

Some critics of the program say politics has blocked efforts to combat fraud. The program has become a steady source of revenue for the Service Employees International Union, among the most powerful interest groups in the Capitol, as well as a second union, the United Domestic Workers of America.

Full Article and Source:
Fraud infects state in-home care program


Anonymous said...

Any time there is money and profit involved, the parasites come out of the woodwork.

Consequently, those people who need services suffer.

Meaningful oversight would save the country billions of dollars.

Anonymous said...

We cannot afford not to investigate fraud.

wisernow said...

The goal for the predator is to get you as prey; YOUR assets and possessions in their possession a.s.a.p.

StandUp said...

I like it that the author of this article used the word "infected" with fraud.

Infected sums it up.

But, hey, they know it's coming. They should be busy outsmarting the crooks!