Home health services provided to veteran by Fayetteville caregiver ‘deplorable’, DOJ says

Cumberland County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Department of Justice announced a Fayetteville-based home health company has agreed to pay $45,486 to settle a fraudulent billings case involving a military veteran.

The DOJ said between 2015 and 2016, Professional Family Care Services billed the Department of Veterans Affairs for home-health services purportedly provided to an Army veteran. The DOJ identified the veteran only as W.R. They said he was actually living with the company’s employee, Certified Nurse Aide Tracey McNeill. 

The department said they found evidence PFCS based its billing for those services on falsified timesheets from McNeill. They said McNeill “failed to provide both the time and quality of care required under the VA program.” They said on some occasions, McNeill submitted time sheets saying she was providing services to W.R. and another patient at the exact same time.

After several months living with McNeill, DOJ said W.R. had to be admitted to the hospital with severe bedsores. They said he was found to be extremely malnourished and died within a few days of his admission.

DOJ said PFCS submitted 15 separate claims seeking payment from the VA for services provided by McNeill to W.R.. The VA ultimately paid them $11,273.92. PFCS now has to repay them in the amount of $45,486. The federal False Claims Act says the government can recover three times the damages caused by the fraud, plus civil penalties for false or fraudulent claims.

Earlier this year, McNeill was convicted of wire fraud for her misconduct related to W.R.

In a statement, United States Attorney Michael F. Easley, Jr. said, “The home-health services provided to the veteran by his supposed care-giver were deplorable.

“Our veterans should be honored and respected for their service, not abused for others’ financial gain.  The United States will always pursue justice for them, and for the programs in place to help support them.  This case, on both the criminal and civil side, embodies that unwavering commitment.”

DOJ said the civil claims resolved by the settlement are only allegations only.

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