Hagerstown Nutritionist Convicted of Medicaid Fraud
BALTIMORE, MD (July 15, 2008) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler
announced today that Olusola Idowu, 55, a nutritionist practicing
in Hagerstown and Silver Spring, was found guilty by a jury of
Medicaid Fraud and related offenses for routinely billing as if
a doctor performed services when she knew no doctor was involved.
Idowu, of the 11000 block of Sani Drive in Hagerstown testified
on her own behalf and was convicted on all charges. The case was
heard in the Circuit Court for Washington County with the Honorable
Judge Donald E. Beachley presiding.
From March, 2002 through
March, 2006, Idowu was the owner and lone nutritionist at SSS
Nutrition Services, also known as Healthy
You Nutrition Services, LLC. Despite the fact that she is not and
never has been a doctor, Idowu routinely billed Amerigroup, a Medicaid
agent, and three private insurers using the highest paying office
visit billing code reserved only for doctors performing consultations.
Idowu used that code hundreds of times to bill for services she
performed, telling the insurers that she saw each client for 80
minutes per visit even though the visits were generally 30 minutes
or fewer. She used the initial consultation code, which is paid
much higher than regular office visits, even for clients who came
for follow-up services. The proper code for nutritional services
performed by a nutritionist paid about $15 for a 15 minute session.
By billing fraudulently, Idowu received between $177 and $186 for
as little as 15 minutes of services. The total loss caused by Idowu’s
fraud exceeds $175,000. Sentencing is set for September 16, 2008.
The case was prosecuted
by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Maryland Attorney
General’s Office and was referred
to the Unit by the fraud investigation department at Amerigroup.