Caregivers and Patients Find Happy Ending After FBI Raid

5:08 PM, May 15, 2010   |    comments
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WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WUSA) -- A home healthcare company shutdown recently, leaving its employees without a paycheck and their patients in an uncertain future. But there is a happy ending since the story aired on Friday.

Sisters of Hope, a medicaid certified company, watched the story and wanted to help.

9NEWS NOW on Friday, introduced you to Stephanie Thompson, a caregiver with First Call Home Health in Woodbridge.  Thompson has been taking care of special needs child Ashton Burke, since he was born.  Thompson is still taking care of him despite not getting paid.

Thompson says she's owed thousands of dollars from the healthcare company after FBI agents shutdown the business last Tuesday.

9NEWS NOW followed Amy Smith as she delivered the good news to Thompson.

Smith tells Thompson, "I'm Amy with Sisters of Hope, and I hear you are looking for an agency.  We'd be delighted to take in Ashton here and make sure you get a paycheck."

Thompson responds, "It's a blessing.  I'm so, so grateful!  It's nice that people care."

Smith says, "These types of situations happen a lot more often than we would like and it's unfortunate. It's important to find a reputable company.  Make sure they are medicaid certified and that you get a history on the company."

Smith says, by taking in the patient and their caregiver, it allows them to stay together.  Something, Thompson says is extremely important.

Smith says they'd like to help more people in need just like Thompson and Ashton.


WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WUSA) -- A company that's suppose to help others in need apparently abandoned their own employees.
Employees at First Call Home Health have been, stopping at the office, trying to find answers and hoping to pick up their paychecks only to find out the door is locked and the business is shut down.

The sign on the door reads First Call Home Health is closed and is under a medicaid investigation.

Charlie Towns is a driver for the company and says, "I need my money to pay bills.  No one will answer the phone to tell me nothing."

The Virginia Attorney General's office confirms they are investigating the health care company that provides caregivers to people of all ages in need who are on low income and on medicaid, but that's little comfort to Stephanie Thompson and Ashton, the little boy she takes care of.

Thompson says,  "I almost died when I went up there and found out.  I was in disbelief, because they are the kindest people you would ever meet."

Two-year-old, Ashton, can't eat solid foods; he can't walk yet, and he needs a feeding tube.

Thompson says, "I wouldn't dare walk away.  I would have to hit rock bottom for me to walk away from him."

An employee, who didn't want to be identified, says the feds raided the office last week.

She says, "They came in and seized all the files.  When you hear FBI, you know something serious is going on.  It's confusing and baffling."

As for the patients, caregivers will not turn their backs on them.
Employees say the Woodbridge home healthcare company has been around for nearly four years.

The attorney general's office says someone was arrested but would not identify the person.  They would not comment further on the case.

Written by Surae Chinn

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