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Therapists facing fraud charges

Three therapists from eastern Kentucky were recently indicted for Medicaid fraud.

Vanessa Rouse, a 35-year-old speech pathologist from Deane; Janice Fields, a 48-year-old developmental interventionist from Happy; and Tiffany Bentley, a 27-year-old physical therapist from Cromona, were indicted April 3.

According to the indictment, Rouse, Fields and Bentley fraudulently billed the Kentucky Medicaid Program for services provided to children in First Steps, a statewide early-intervention program for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities. During 2006 and 2007, the therapists allegedly billed the state for services that were not provided to children.

Rouse and Fields face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Bentley faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

“Providers across the Commonwealth must understand that if they try to cheat the system and steal from taxpayers, they will be prosecuted,” said Attorney General Jack Conway.

Rouse is charged with eight counts of Medicaid fraud; Fields is charged with four counts of Medicaid fraud and Bentley is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud.

Each of the three women indicted was an independent provider who would travel to people’s homes to provide services in a several county service area.

The therapists were indicted in Jefferson County because that is where the Medicaid billing was submitted for review and payment.

The indictment was sought by Conway’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control.

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