A Plainview woman is awaiting sentencing, after pleading guilty to health care fraud. In all, Angela Michelle Edwards admits to stealing more than $370,000 from Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurance companies.
Edwards was the CEO of Oasis Medical Clinic in Plainview. She says she would change bills submitted by clinicians to receive higher payment, and she had her staff do the same. Edwards pleaded guilty to federal charges on Thursday. Now, she faces 10-years in prison.
"I spent years of my business career in a rut in my prayer life, only praying and taking needs to God that were extraordinary, or only maybe praying when I was in trouble," Edwards told NewsChannel 11 in 2002.
She sat down with us for a segment called Power of Prayer. At that time, Oasis Medical Clinic had been open for just more than a year, and according to Edwards' testimony she was also defrauding insurance agencies at that time.
Edwards admitted to stealing $370,657 from January 2002 through August 2005, but that's not what she shared with NewsChannel 11.
"When I began to pray about business decisions and say God I want this business and my decisions here to honor you, and I want them to be your will and not my will, things really started opening up and going in the right directions," Edwards said.
She says she "up-coded" and improperly coded claims and diagnosis codes that were submitted to Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance companies in order to receive higher payments. Edwards admits she changed bills herself, and taught her staff to do the same.
She says she is personally responsible for restitution in this case, because she caused the fraud and used money from Oasis accounts for personal expenses.
"When ever you are in your life, if you're trying to make a decision, particularly about business or maybe the direction to take your life, you will definitely find the power in prayer," Edwards said.
Oasis Medical Clinic is now in bankruptcy.
Besides the 10-years in prison, Edwards also faces a $250,000 fine, plus restitution costs.
She will not be sentenced until the pre-sentence investigation is finished. That typically takes around a month. Edwards is scheduled to go before Judge Sam Cummings in federal court.
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