An owner and a general manager of a Chandler hospice agency have been indicted by a federal grand jury in a Medicare fraud case.
Paula Kluding, 38, of Chandler, and Patricia Carter, 42, of Tecumseh, each were charged with 39 counts of Medicare fraud. Prairie View Hospice Inc., owned by Kluding, also was charged with 39 counts.
The indictment, announced by Western District of Oklahoma United States Attorney Sanford C. Coats, said Kluding and Carter conspired to conceal patient medical conditions and misrepresented the quality and quantity of in-person visits to terminally ill hospice patients. The false statements and fake medical reports came after an audit began in 2010 and went to July 2013, the indictment said.
“It is alleged that Prairie View Hospice, acting through Kluding and Carter, sent the falsified documents to a Medicare subcontractor in response to requests to audit patient files and claims for Medicare reimbursement,” said a news release from Coats’ office.
The indictment charges the three defendants with conspiracy, obstruction of a federal audit and making false statements in a health care matter. If convicted, Kluding and Carter could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count.
Messages to the attorneys for Kluding, Carter and Prairie View Hospice were not returned Thursday.
The case is the result of a joint investigation by the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.