June 1, 2005
Kennett, Mo. — A St. Louis woman who allegedly billed the state Medicaid program for more than 24 hours of work a day and billed for services performed simultaneously — to the tune of more than $27,000 — will stand trial for criminal Medicaid fraud after waiving her preliminary hearing Tuesday. Criminal Medicaid fraud charges were filed jointly by Attorney General Jay Nixon and Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Sokoloff.
Debbie Perry (DOB 5/3/65), an in-home health care provider, was arrested May 5 in St. Louis. She has been charged with 39 felony counts in Dunklin County Circuit Court in connection with the alleged Medicaid fraud, where she is alleged to have overbilled the program by $27,352.
From October 2002 through December 2002, Perry was an employee of four different companies that provided in-home health care services covered under the state Medicaid program. According to an investigation by the state Department of Health and Senior Services, Perry allegedly submitted time sheets for 87 of the 92 days, and on 37 of those days, claimed more than 24 hours of work per day.
Seventy-six of those 87 days contained overlapping billing, which means Perry allegedly claimed she performed services for multiple recipients at multiple locations at the same time.
Perry faces 37 counts of making a false statement to receive a health care payment, a class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per count; and two alternative counts of stealing by deceit, of which she can only be convicted of one or the other. Stealing by deceit is a class C felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. She currently is being held in the Dunklin County jail in lieu of $10,000 cash only bond. Her next court date is set for June 8 in Dunklin County.
The charges against the defendant are merely accusations. As in all criminal cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.