Home health agency denies wrongdoing in case of ABC news ‘undercover grandma’

The Monitor: Elizabeth Findell – March 02, 2012 6:58 PM.

PHARR—Leaders of the Morning Star Home Care Inc. responded Friday to allegations they were involved in a Medicare fraud scheme involving a woman who turned out to be an “undercover grandma” for ABC News.

An ABC News report this week accused local internist Dr. Padmini Bhadriraju of fraud after it sent the 82-year-old Doris Ace—the grandmother of one of the producers—to see her and said she was diagnosed with conditions she didn’t have. The news report indicated Bhadriraju’s clinic was in McAllen, but it is actually the Harmony Internal Medicine and Adult Clinic in Pharr.

The report showed footage of forms with the Morning Star Home Care logo and a statement from Bhadriraju’s attorneys Thursday blamed any diagnostic errors on the home care agency. The agency’s leaders denied those claims.

“There was no fraud,” said Administrator Estela Sotelo, who founded Morning Star at 300 E. Nolana in 2008. Read More