Feds Allege $700,000 Health Care Fraud

     DES MOINES, Iowa (CN) – A 45-year-old woman faces federal charges of defrauding Medicaid and health insurers of more than $700,000, for medical services that were never performed, the U.S. Attorney’s Offfice said.
     Angela Shae Ellison, 45, of Centerville, was charged Friday with four counts of health care fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of money laundering, prosecutors said in a statement.
     Ellison submitted false claims to Medicaid, WellMark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna and United Health for physician services performed on patients of Cornerstone Counseling Center, prosecutors said.
     Medicaid paid more than $500,000, Wellmark $200,000, Aetna $3,000, and United Health more than $6,000 in the scheme, prosecutors said in a statement, citing the indictment.
     Ellison allegedly committed aggravated identity theft by using doctors’ names and national provider information numbers. A national provider information number is a 10-digit number issued by the federal government for doctors to use in billing government and commercial health-care insurers.
     If convicted, Ellison faces restitution and up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each health care fraud charge, up to 2 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of identity theft, and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for money laundering.

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