Pleads not guilty to Medicaid fraud and theft charges
SPOKANE – When Terri Jamison died in 2006, her husband, Paul, promised to take care of her elderly parents. But according to charges filed by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Paul Allen Jamison billed the state for caring for his in-laws when he wasn’t. He even billed the government for time spent sleeping.
In March, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) charged Jamison, 61, for defrauding the government program that provides health care services funding for low-income citizens. Jamison pleaded not guilty today in Lincoln County Superior Court to one count of first-degree theft and nine counts of making a false statement to Medicaid.
Jamison is alleged to have received excess Medicaid funds from May 2006 through January of 2007, resulting in theft of more than $5,000. Assistant Attorney General Lynn Mounsey Longmeier is prosecuting the case.
Acting in response to a 2007 complaint from Lincoln County Hospital, an investigation by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) revealed that Jamison, who was paid by Medicaid to provide in-home care, was not providing the number of care hours for which he billed the state. Jamison’s elderly mother-in-law reported that she rarely saw Jamison. She said he would come to her home on weekends and take out the trash and on his scheduled day off from his job with a Spokane flooring company. She said that Jamison would arrive but not stay for more than an hour. Jamison billed the Medicaid program for nearly 200 work hours per month.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit conducted a criminal investigation after receiving a March 2007 complaint from DSHS. MFCU investigator Larry Carlier attempted to interview Jamison, who said to Carlier, “I worked those hours. I often stayed overnight on Saturdays and Sundays to be available if needed.” When Carlier explained to him that he could not claim time sleeping as care hours, Jamison stated, “That’s not what [DSHS] told me.” Both Jamison’s Medicaid program supervisor and his in-laws’ case manager deny telling Jamison that he could bill the state for time spent sleeping and claim they told him that doing so would be in violation of DSHS policies and procedures.
The victim reported that after the death of her husband in December, 2006, Jamison provided no care for her. Yet Jamison continued to bill Medicaid for his services. His trial is set for June 10, 2009.
The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of fraud committed by healthcare providers. In addition, the unit coordinates with local law enforcement authorities through a statewide network to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse and neglect involving vulnerable adults residing in Medicaid funded residential facilities.
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725