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VOL. 126 | NO. 37 | Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Memphis Woman Indicted on 214 Counts of Health Care Fraud

By Aisling Maki

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Joann McGhee, 45, of Memphis has been indicted on 214 counts of submitting false and fraudulent claims to defraud a number of health care benefits programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare, Edward Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced Wednesday.

For two years, McGhee, who owned Memphis-based Meridian Human Services, hired unlicensed social workers and other individuals to perform psychotherapy on residents in private homes and adult care facilities. Instead of psychotherapy, McGhee had the employees perform social services, case management services, activities of daily living training and recreational activities with residents.

McGhee then implemented a billing scheme to defraud Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare in Tennessee. Through Meridian Human Services, she allegedly submitted claims for services that were not provided by licensed clinical social workers.

Between July 2005 and July 2007, McGhee submitted fraudulent billings to health care benefit programs in excess of $1.1 million.

The charges carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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