Thirteen defendants have been arrested for being involved in the $27 million Novus healthcare fraud and sentenced to a combined 84 years in federal prison.
Novus Health services, a hospice-agency based in Dallas, submitted materially false claims for hospice services and provided kickbacks for referrals. They also violated HIPAA to recruit beneficiaries. Without acknowledgment of medical professionals’ employees gave schedule two controlled substances to patients. Employees also moved patients to a new company to avoid Medicare suspension.
Ceo Bradley J. Harris admitted to the jury of fraud. He told the jury that him and Novus’ nurses decided what medications and dosage patients would receive. They used pre-signed prescription pads while dispensing drugs like hydrocodone and morphine. Also, he told the jury that Novus medical directors which includes Dr. Laila Hirjee and Dr. Mark Gibbs, are supposed to acknowledge the care of the patients and they are supposed to certify that the patients were terminally ill by examining patients face to face. Instead, medical directors signed off on patients care plans without reviewing files and they illegally certified that they had examined patients face to face when they had not.
Harris also admitted that him and Novus nurses decided which patients would be admitted or discharged from hospice care without physician involvement, Also, he paid physicians kickbacks that were disguised as salaries for them to refer patients to Novus.
All thirteen defendants associated either pled guilty or were convicted on fraud, conspiracy and other charges.