Home healthcare audits turn up erroneous documents
Oct 17, 2011 Matt Roesly
An increasing number of complaints about documentation errors by home healthcare workers in Louisiana led the Department of Health and Hospitals to conduct audits on 41 companies, The Associated Press reports. Accounting firm Postlethwaite & Netterville turned up a variety of discrepancies during the audits, which were conducted over the fiscal year and ended in July. Issues included insufficient documentation for worker training, a lack of criminal background checks on employees, timesheet discrepancies and one instance of outright fraud. According to Jerry Phillips, undersecretary of the health department, home healthcare businesses were targeted because of high documentation error rate. The DHH wanted to use the findings to change its monitoring practices. "We're having to scrutinize to weed out bad providers and to improve the rules," Phillips told the news source. Kimberly Sullivan, program integrity chief for the state's Medicaid program, added that "it's very difficult to police this kind of provider, because you have individual workers going in individual homes," as quoted by the Advocate. Changes will be applied within the next month in an attempt to curb fraudulent activities. The audits marked the first in-depth review of home care services in the state.