Hagerstown Nutritionist Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud
BALTIMORE, MD (September 26, 2008) –Maryland Attorney General
Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Olusola Idowu, 55, a nutritionist
practicing in Hagerstown and Silver Spring, was sentenced for Medicaid
fraud and related offenses for routinely billing as if a doctor
performed services when no doctor was involved. Circuit Court for
Washington County Judge Donald E. Beachley sentenced Idowu to serve
three years, all suspended, and placed Idowu on five years probation.
Judge Beachley also ordered Idowu, of the 11000 block of Sani Drive
in Hagerstown, to pay $178,000 in restitution. As a condition of
her probation, she is not permitted to own or work in the nutrition
field unless she is the employee of someone else.
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 the highest paying doctor’s 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. The
proper code for nutritional services performed by a nutritionist
paid about $15 for a 15 minutes session. By billing fraudulently,
Idowu received between $177 and $186 for as little as 15 minutes
of services. Idowu was convicted in July, 2008, following a two
day jury trial."
The case was prosecuted
by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland Attorney General’s
Office which has authority to investigate and prosecute Medicaid