Following the paper trail of a Medicaid fraud case to conviction can be a long process. Archie Hartsfield, 68, of El Paso, schemed Medicaid from January, 1999 to October, 2001. He operated an adult day care center in Nacogdoches, formerly located on East Main. Hartsfield's arrest is one of many throughout the state conducted recently by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Division.
Nacogdoches County District Attorney Stephanie Stephens is thankful for the AG's assistance. "We have these people from the attorney general's office who will come in and do the investigation and do the prosecution. They are specially trained to deal with Medicaid fraud because it is a very specialized area."
Fraudulent prescriptions is a common Medicaid fraud scheme. Hartsfield billed Medicaid for residents who were never in his care at the facility. In return for committing the second degree felony, he must remit over $65,000 to the Medicaid program and serve ten years probation.
Stephens said, "They're stealing from you and me. They're stealing taxpayer money and they're stealing assets that are targeted toward people with specific needs."
Attorney General Greg Abbott says he'll make every effort to expose the scam artists whose exploitation is done without a thought for those the system is designed to protect. A recent performance review showed a need for better coordination among state agencies to prevent Medicaid fraud and abuse.