Monday, July 12, 2010
Some 15,000 California in-home care providers are walking away from their jobs. They declined to re-enroll as caretakers after lawmakers put in regulations designed to weed out fraud.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger believes there has been extensive fraud in California’s In Home Supportive Services program, IHSS, and a Sacramento County Grand Jury reports the program is a breeding ground for fraud.
Lizelda Lopez at the California Department of Social Services, says officials are evaluating whether those anti-fraud measures are responsible for the large drop in care providers.
"Any fraud for us is unacceptable, so we’re trying to determine who these individuals are and what’s most important to us is these recipients they were tied to are still receiving the services," said Lopez.
The new provisions include background checks and fingerprinting. Providers cannot have committed abuse against an elder, child or fraud against the government.
The program employs more than 400,000 people statewide -- those providers are paid $10.50 an hour, and can work as many as 45 hours per week.