Caregiver Fraud - Have You Heard Of It?
Please hear me when I say that though your business may be bonded, licensed, and insured, there is no amount of background checks, drug tests, personality tests, references, or any other mandatory background checks that can stop Caregiver Fraud.
Caregiver Fraud is when someone fills out an application at a Home Health Care Agency, passes all of the background checks, and other necessary tests, but the ACTUAL PERSON who is showing up at your Clients home, is not the same person who you have on file.
SCENARIO: The fraudulent Caregiver is unable to get a job because of their criminal record or history, so a family member or friend gets the job for them.
The Fraudulent Caregiver does all of the Caregiving duties- the original applicant (family member or friend) picks up the check, and gives the money to the fraudulent Caregiver.
Your Client may even already know about the fraudulent Caregivers background, and could just be helping a "generally nice person" receive an income.
In questioning a local Home Healthcare Agency as to how they would ever know if something like this was occurring in their business, they replied, "Oh we find out, believe me, people talk!".
Although they felt as if they had this area covered and under control, their business was still not aware of the fraud that was happening right under their nose.
How Can You Prevent Caregiver Fraud?
1. Make sure that the picture ID of the applicant matches the same Caregiver who is showing up at the Clients home DAILY- No matter how big or small your business is.
2. Set up a system, or even hire someone specifically to make sure that you, your business, and your Clients are protected- DAILY.
3. Take the time to perform constant and consistent home check ups IN PERSON- No matter how big or small your business is.
One of the very reasons why fraudulent Caregivers and their accomplices are able to get away with this, is because they know that they are not being closely monitored.
There are a number of child daycare centers and nanny services that use video surveillance to prevent misconduct and abuse.
Hospital officials had to come up with a system that accurately identifies mother and newborn baby, to prevent kidnapping and mistaken identity.
Like so, changes need to be made in the Senior and Disabled Home Health industry to prevent this type of crime.
Performing rigorous background checks is a must, but that alone, will not prevent neglect, theft, abuse, or fraud.
*Originally published in 2016.