- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The Niobrara County coroner accused of Medicaid fraud also faces charges that she neglected a patient of her private home health care business for more than a year.

Lisa Mellott is charged with elder abuse for not providing care to a client she was required to visit at least once a month, according to documents filed in Niobrara County Circuit Court. The misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of up to one year in jail.

Mellott has pleaded not guilty and a trial is set for March 29.

Court documents say officials discovered a disabled patient in poor conditions during last year’s flooding in Lusk, the Casper Star-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/21ZuYHt).

According to court papers, the Department of Family Services determined the disabled woman had not been bathed properly and did not have enough food or medication. They also determined the woman was under the care of Home Health Agency and that Mellott owned the businesses and was the woman’s caregiver.

When interviewed by investigators, Mellott said she had not provided the patient’s medication for at least the previous month. But investigators say a check of the woman’s medical records indicated she had not received medication for a health condition in over a year.

Mellott’s attorney, Robert Moxley, declined to comment on the case.

In addition to the elder abuse charge, Mellott faces 11 counts of Medicaid fraud and four counts of forgery. All the charges are felonies, and each carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Mellott has pleaded not guilty to the fraud and forgery charges.

Authorities say Mellott billed Medicaid for services that she did not provide to patients of her home health care service and defrauded the government program of more than $50,000.

They also say Mellott forged her clients’ signatures on forms that indicated she had rendered services warranting Medicaid reimbursement.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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