False Audit Records Land Home Health Owner a Prison Sentence

The former owner of a Washington, D.C.-area home health agency was sentenced to eight months in prison for falsifying records in connection with a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) audit. 

Jeannette N. Awasum, 49, of Germantown, Maryland, pled guilty in April 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of falsification of records in connection with a federal investigation. 

In early June, Awasum, the CEO of Tri State Home Health and Equipment Service, was informed that HHS requested the physician-signed plans of care for 130 of the company’s patients, according to a state of offense signed by Awasum.

Awasum knew that Tri State lacked plans of care for 62 of these 130 patients, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agency received approximately $1,879,853 from Medicare and D.C. Medicaid for treating these 62 patients during the period for which plans of care were missing. 

The owner directed her employees to fraudulently create plans of care for the services that these 62 patients received, making it appear as if the documents had been created prior to the services being provided. 

In total, the employees created 81 plans of care for these 62 patients, which Awasum then instructed one of her employees to take the fabricated forms to a doctor that never examined these patients, notes DOJ. 

Regardless of examination, the doctor signed the plans of care in June 2010, where Tri State employees then placed the fraudulent documents in the company’s file so that the forms would be present when HHS conducted its audit. 

Awasum was sentenced by the Honorable Richard J. Leon.

Upon completion of her prison term, Awasum will be placed on two years of supervised release, four months of that time will be on home detention, according to DOJ. Additionally, Awasum is also ordered to perform 500 hours of community service. 

Written by Jason Oliva