The Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused a hospice facility executive of overdosing patients to hasten their death in an attempt to increase profits. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas stated the exec faces a number of criminal charges including charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
What was the alleged scheme? A United States Attorney has stated that the exec is connected to “tens of millions of dollars” stolen through the use of “human life at its most vulnerable stages.” The charges are based on allegations that span a four-year period, from July of 2012 through September of 2016. During this time, the DOJ claims the exec was involved a scheme that resulted in over 60 million dollars of Medicare fraud.
The scheme involved the exec making decisions on whether or not a resident of the hospice facility would receive medical care based on financial interests instead of medical need. The facility provided care while profitable. When this period of profit ended, the execs allegedly ordered a narcotic overdose.
The facility was also accused of submitting claims to Medicare for hospice services that were never provided.
What is the status of this case? The government made the indictment public in 2017. Another executive has recently admitted to the court that she served as a “go-between” for other execs and physicians involved in the scheme. She took a plea deal and has agreed to testify against other execs allegedly involved in this scheme.
The exec must review the evidence gathered to support these allegations and build a defense against the claims. The potential penalties are severe. The government has threatened the exec with up to 10 years of prison time.