Rogers home health agency being investigated

Posted: February 2, 2018 at 1 a.m.

ROGERS -- A home heath provider is being audited by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.

Bart Dickinson, the chief counsel for the state office, confirmed Thursday a field audit is underway for Home Helpers of Northwest Arkansas, but refused to say why. The office does audit reviews for Medicaid providers for the state.

"It's early on and it is inappropriate to comment at this time," he said.

Home Helpers provides in-home care services and assistance for elderly, developmentally disabled, new moms and post-surgical patients including medical alert systems, according to the company's website.

Dickinson said there are a variety of reasons why the office does audits, but he said the office doesn't do annual or certification audits.

According to the office's website, its mission is to prevent, detect and investigate fraud, waste and abuse within the medical assistance program. It's done through auditing Medicaid providers and medical assistance program functions; recovering improperly expended money; and referring appropriate cases for criminal prosecution.

The office received a anonymous complaint in October concerning Home Helpers in Rogers, Dickinson said, adding the complaint wasn't the reason for the audit.

"If we were going on the complaint then we would have went in October," Dickinson said.

The audit is a long process and Dickinson didn't have a time frame when it would be completed. He said the office has 150 days to issue a report after the completion of the audit.

Shannon Brewer, a spokeswoman for Home Helpers of Northwest Arkansas, didn't return two telephone calls seeking comment Thursday.

Each Home Helpers office is an independently owned and operated franchise. Home Helpers of Northwest Arkansas provides services in Gravette, Lowell, Centerton, Farmington, Pea Ridge, Gentry, Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville, Bella Vista and Siloam Springs, according to the company's website.

NW News on 02/02/2018