Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Our investigators will ceaselessly pursue those who exploit needy children and the Medicaid system in schemes to enrich themselves, said Attorney General Abbott. We will fight to have every penny of money stolen from taxpayers returned to the Medicaid program.
Of the $156,000 Ihaza billed Medicaid, he received $132,000 in illegal reimbursements for counseling at Charleston Rehabilitation from October 2004 to January 2005. The Attorney General’s investigators interviewed a psychologist and a licensed counselor whom Ihaza claimed worked for him as providers. Both filed affidavits saying they never worked for Ihaza. Investigators also talked to parents whose children Ihaza claimed to have counseled. The parents said the children received no counseling, but rather watched movies, ate snacks and engaged in minor arts and crafts projects.
Ihaza’s illegal activities at Charleston RBCVE, supposedly a chemical dependency treatment clinic, involved group counseling sessions that were billed as individual counseling, a scheme designed to inflate reimbursements. InApril 2005, Ihaza illegally billed Medicaid $11,374 and received almost $11,000 in reimbursement.
The case against Ihaza is being prosecuted by Harris County Assistant District Attorney Lester Blizzard.
To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.