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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Shanetta J. Paskel, 410-576-7939
spaskel@oag.state.md.us

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 fraud.

 


   

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