NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


July 23, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

NURSE PLEADS GUILTY TO MEDICAID FRAUD

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Mattie Kirkland, 62, of Baltimore, pled guilty to submitting false time sheets and nursing notes for payment by Medicaid. Baltimore County District Court Judge John Coolahan accepted the plea and directed that a Pre-sentence Report be prepared. A sentencing date has not been set.

Kirkland, a licensed practical nurse, was hired by Absolute Nursing Care to provide home health services to a 14- year-old Medicaid recipient with cerebral palsy and other maladies. On three days in December 1999 and five days in January 2000, Kirkland submitted time slips to Absolute Nursing Care for shifts that she did not work. Her employer used the time sheets to bill the Maryland Medicaid program to obtain payment for Kirklandís services. In addition, Kirkland submitted false nursing notes for each shift. These nursing notes, which indicated activities performed by the teenager as well as treatment allegedly provided to him, were written by Kirkland to create the false impression that the teenager had been in her care on those days. Further, one of Kirklandís duties was to escort the child to a special school each weekday. Kirklandís nursing notes for the days at issue reflect that the child attended school but the childís teacher recalls him being absent on those days and the school records show absences on each of the dates in question.

Kirkland was paid for her time in December but her scheme was discovered before she received her pay for the January dates. Kirkland admitted her wrongdoings to both her employer and investigators with the Office of the Attorney General. In addition, Kirkland told the Attorney Generalís Office that on the dates in December on which she billed Absolute Nursing Care, she was actually performing community service required by a federal court order as a result of a conviction in September 1999 for failing to file tax returns.

This case was prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of Marylandís Attorney Generalís Office.

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