Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In-Home Supportive Services Probe Yields 19 Felony Cases

A task force established to ferret out fraud in Sacramento County's extensive network of In-Home Supportive Services has turned up 19 felony cases in its first four months, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Those cases account for an alleged $315,000 in overpayments among 42,000 caregivers and clients.

"We believe as long as IHSS is in existence, there will always be fraud," said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Laura Green, who's in charge of the district attorney's Stop Target Offenders Program unit, which includes the multiagency task force.

A grand jury report last summer found that along with costs and enrollment increasing, fraud was growing in the county's IHSS program, which helps the disabled and frail elderly continue living independently in their own homes. The Governor's Office has claimed a 25 percent statewide fraud rate in IHSS.

Full Article and Source:
Sacramento County Probe of In-Home Care Turns up 19 Felony Cases


Anonymous said...

This is happening all over our country. Glad to see Sacramento desires to do something about it in an attempt to protect their vulnerable citizens. The other states need to follow suit!

Steve Mehlman said...

You forgot to mention several things in your report. The four-month "probe" in Sacramento County yield 19 cases (not convictions, cases) out of 42,000 IHSS home care consumers in the county. 19 out of 42,000. My calculator doesn't have enough zeros to figure how low that percentage is.

As to the Governor's claim of 25 percent fraud in IHSS, that is a joke. No reputable study has found the rate of fraud in IHSS to be higher than 1 to 2 percent, max. Yet the governor and his right-wing allies have foisted a multi-million dollar "anti-fraud" campaign on the taxpayers.

The governor and district attorneys like the one in Sacramento are slandering more than 450,000 homecare recipients and the people who care for them by branding them as fraud criminals. It is unconscionable that an organization that purports to represent victims of real abuse would join the witchhunt.

Betty said...

I see your point, Steve, but 19 cases in just six months in one county still seems high. Because when I see statements like, "19 cases....", I always think of those who also have cases but didn't report them.

Max said...

The trend is toward home care and I'm all for it, but like any industry, because it's a for-profit industry, it has to be monitored.

Home care agencies need to do background checks and monitor closely. They are in a position of protecting the public trust.

If the home health industry doesn't operate with the cleanest slate possible, the nursing homes will just poliferate.

Linda said...

It's still a lot of money, Steve, particularly in these times when the economy is in bad shape.

But, you're right, the percentage compared to the numbers is low.

Anonymous said...

Government is to blame when the taxpayers are allowed to get ripped off this way.

wisernow said...

Sure it's low if you are not the victim when you are the victim that changes: EVERYTHING! doesn't it?