Local home health care company allegedly bills for home visits a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran never received
HOUSTON - Michael Sweat died last month. His obituary states his death followed a long battle against the effects of Vietnam combat and the detrimental health issues associated with Agent Orange.
"He was a very proud Marine," said Michael's daughter Melissa Sweat. "He loved fishing. He loved taking his boat out."
SUGGESTED: Tree falls on vehicle in Harris County, 1 person killed
At 17, Michael Sweat joined the Marine Corp and fought in the Vietnam War.
"He is my brother. He's two years older than me, he's my only sibling," said Michael's sister Cindy Kovalchuk.
Kovalchuk says she made a troubling discovery after Michael died on April 6.
"Home health care is just for combat veterans," she said.
SUGGESTED: José Griñan announces retirement after 30 years with FOX 26
According to an invoice, Heart Home Health Care, located at 7545 South Freeway, billed the Veterans Administration for home visits for Michael Sweat from March 21 through March 27.
His sister and daughter say that's impossible since he was in Baytown Methodist Hospital on those days.
"It's fraud," said Kovalchuk. "They're lying. They're cheating. They're stealing from us, we're taxpayers. This is the VA paying for this."
SUGGESTED: Former Houston Astros' coach, Sugar Land Special Asst. Deacon Jones passes away at 89
After her dad was released from the hospital, Melissa Sweat says she left him with a Heart Home Health Care worker.
She says she returned about an hour later and took a picture.
"The person, who is supposed to be caring for your dad, making sure he's ok, and she's sleeping," Melissa said.
DOWNLOAD THE FOX 26 HOUSTON APP BY CLICKING HERE
Michael Sweat's sister and daughter say they wonder what else the VA paid for, but Michael never got.
"I know they were coming Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, and on this statement, there's Tuesdays and Thursdays that are being billed for," Sweat said. "And nobody comes on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
We went to Heart Home Health Care. An employee there, slammed the door in my face.
"My brother is gone, but maybe the next veteran can be helped with better home health care," said Cindy Kovalchuk.
The Houston VA tells us it's looking into this situation and are in contact with the veteran's family and the home health care provider.