TWIN FALLS • The state attorney general’s office is prosecuting a Jerome woman for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program of $633.84.
Savannah Marie Armstrong, 22, was arraigned Wednesday in Twin Falls County Magistrate Court on felony counts of provider fraud and forgery and a misdemeanor count of petit theft.
Armstrong, who was employed by A Caring Hand Home Health Care in Twin Falls, is accused of routinely lying about her hours and the services she provided for an 84-year-old man she was caring for in late 2014, according to court documents filed by Rondee Blessing, the lead deputy attorney general for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Armstrong is also accused of forging the signature of the elderly man’s wife.
She is accused of causing a loss to the state’s Medicaid program of $633.84 and to A Caring Hand Home Health Care of $407.25, court records said. Her employment by the health care company was terminated Dec. 11, 2014, after she admitted to not working the hours she documented and forging the wife’s signature.
Armstrong’s deceit began in October 2014, the first week she worked with the 84-year-old man, court records said. Armstrong left the man’s residence one day that week for what she said was a two-hour work meeting, there was no work meeting and she didn’t account for those hours on her time card.
Later in October, Armstrong left work at noon but signed her time card saying she was there until 3:30 p.m., court records said.
The discrepancies in the time sheet and the actual hours of work were meticulously documented by the 84-year-old man’s wife, court documents said. The wife then noticed that Armstrong had forged her signature on the time sheets.
“This is not my signature,” the wife told investigators. “It’s close, she was good, but it’s not my signature.”
The wife noted several more times Armstrong falsified the time card and forged her signature, including several days when she never showed up at all and yet claimed she worked more than six hours, court records said.
Investigators found records showing Armstrong was at an oral surgery with her son all day on Nov. 10, 2014, and yet had signed her time sheet claiming to be at work caring for the elderly man from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., court records said. Nov. 19 Armstrong signed a sheet saying she worked six hours, even though she never showed up.
Armstrong signed a Dec. 5 time sheet claiming she worked 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. even though she never showed up to work, according to her client’s wife, and even though the man had a dentist appointment he was at for several hours that day, court records said.
Armstrong is not being held in jail as she awaits a Jan. 8 preliminary hearing.