Criminal cases such as fraud have been a signature specialty of a nurse attorney when handling cases for some nurses. However, some nurses tend to forget this fact because they really felt like they should be responsible even if they never intended to commit such an error.
One such incident occurred on or about July 3, 2017, when a Houston RN allegedly ‘horrified’ patient deaths linked to her role in a $60M Medicare fraud scheme. According to accusations, the RN put profits over patient care, billing Medicare and Medicaid for over $60 million worth of fraudulent hospice services. As part of the scheme, some patients were given high doses of narcotics to hasten their deaths.
This issue was filed as a complaint and sent to the Texas Board of Nursing. The Texas Board of Nursing has full jurisdiction in all cases that may affect the status of an RN or LVN’s license in the future. But they advise nurses to attend a hearing first before placing the sentence, which the RN attended for her career’s security.
During the defense, the RN acknowledges she falsified documents and changed patients’ care status without a doctor’s oversight so that she could bill for higher amounts.
She also earned money for each patient she recruited to hospice care even though the patients weren’t always eligible for services. Medicare regulations require patients in hospice to be certified as terminally ill with less than six months to live.
As a result, the Texas Board of Nursing placed her RN license to disciplinary action. It’s too bad that she failed to hire a nurse attorney for assistance if she had every reason to defend herself in the first place. Her defense would have gotten better if she actually sought legal consultation from a Texas criminal nurse attorney as well.
So if you’re facing a complaint from the Board, it’s best to seek legal advice first. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is willing to assist every nurse in need of immediate help for nurse licensing cases. To contact him, please dial (832)-428-5679 for a confidential consultation or for more inquiries.