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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

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.

   

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