The state Department of Health Services overreached in seeking to recoup Medicaid payments from dozens of independent private duty nurses who care for severely disabled patients in their homes, a Waukesha County judge has ruled.The health department exceeded its authority when it asked the nurses to return Medicaid payments because the nurses didn’t fully comply with various rules in documenting the care they provided, Circuit Court Judge Kathryn Foster decided Sept. 27. The cases don’t involve alleged fraud.The nurses say state auditors became aggressive beginning in 2012, asking them to pay back $7,000 to $142,000 or more each because of paperwork mistakes, such as not providing proof that doctors had ordered vitamin D or Tylenol.
“I will never do this work again,” said Heidi Unke, a nurse from Waterford who cared for a paralyzed man in his home until 2013, when the state said she had to return $58,000.The state’s …
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Judge says state overreached in asking nurses to give back Medicaid payments