A Mandan woman is charged with Medicaid fraud for allegedly submitting $76,000 worth of claims for in-home services while a client was hospitalized and for an impossible amount of hours worked in a single day.
Rebecca Fruge, also known as Rebecca Fruge Anderson, 53, is a qualified service provider approved by the Department of Human Services. Since February 2017 she has submitted three claims for single days’ work that included more hours than there are in a day, according to an affidavit filed by the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The Department of Human Services verified that on one of those days Fruge’s client was in the hospital and could not have received any services from her.
Qualified service providers bring home and community-based services to older adults and people with physical and intellectual disabilities. The providers agree to meet standards established by the human services department.
Investigators say Fruge submitted a claim to the North Dakota Medicaid program for 39.5 hours of services to a client on May 1, 2019, for 33.75 hours on May 2, 2019, and for 32.25 hours of services on May 3, 2019.
The hour amounts triggered an audit, and the department requested service record documentation. The audit was expanded after Fruge failed to submit those records, authorities said. Fruge as part of her Medicaid provider agreement was to repay the department for any services not properly documented. She had not made any payments as of Dec. 16, according to the affidavit.
Fruge told investigators she was in the process of moving when the documentation was requested and she wasn’t sure where it was. She denied submitting claims that were incorrect or fraudulent, investigators say.
Medicaid fraud is punishable by 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Fruge was ordered to appear in court at a later date, court records show. No attorney is listed for her in court records.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is a division of the attorney general’s office. It was established by the Legislature in 2019. The division investigates allegations of Medicaid fraud ranging from bogus provider charges to the diversion of medications to patient abuse at facilities receiving Medicaid funds, according to the attorney general’s website.
Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com