The owners of a Frisco, Texas, hospice company and 14 others have been indicted in a $60 million Medicare fraud scheme and are accused of overdosing some patients who died as a result of those overdoses, according to a news report.
Charged in the indictment are Bradley J. Harris and his wife, Amy Harris, who owned and operated Novus Health Services and Optim Health Services Inc., as well as five doctors, five nurses, three others who worked in management positions at Novus, and the owner of a separate physicians’ home visit company.
According to the indictment, doctors and assisted living facilities were offered financial incentives to refer patients to Novus hospice care. Two of the doctors signed off on evaluations they did not conduct that recertified patients for hospice care.
The indictment alleges that Novus billed Medicare and Medicaid over $60 million for fraudulent hospice services from July 2012 to September 2015. The defendants are charged with submitting false claims for hospice services, recruiting ineligible patients by paying kickbacks to physicians and health care facilities, and falsifying and destroying evidence.
In addition, the indictment alleges that, in order to justify continuous care for which he could charge Medicare a higher daily rate, Bradley Harris instructed a nurse to over-medicate one patient, which led to the patient’s death. Nurses also gave high doses of drugs such as morphine to patients, whether or not they needed it, to justify higher payments.
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