“You need to make this patient go bye-bye,” a Texas hospice home owner is accused of texting his employee. The CPA who does not have a medical license, is accused of telling medical personnel to administer up to four times the amount of morphine recommended in order to accelerate client deaths and maximize profits.
The NBC affiliate in the Dallas/Fort Worth area reported that the Frisco, Texas, hospice owner allegedly directed nurses to overdose patients. The local affiliate also obtained emails and other electronic documents and search warrant affidavits in their investigation.
Thirty-four-year-old Brad Harris, owner of Novus Health Care Services, Inc., allegedly instructed a nurse to administer overdoses to three patients. He is also alleged to have instructed another employee to administer four times the maximum dose.
An FBI affidavit states that the first employee refused to obey Harris’ directive.
The Novus executive is also accused of telling other health-care executives in a business lunch meeting that his goal was to “find patients who would die within 24 hours.”
He is alleged to have made other statements, for example, “if this f***** would just die,” according to an arrest warrant filled out by an FBI agent obtained by 5NBCDFW.com.
According to the NBCDFW article, hospices are subject to an “aggregator cap” which limits Medicare and Medicaid payments to them. The payments are based on the yearly average hospice stay and hospices can be forced to repay the government some of the payments they received.
The agent wrote in his affidavit, “Hence, hospice providers have an incentive to enroll patients whose hospice stays will be short relative to the gap.”
It was reported that the FBI started investigating the company in October of 2014. Initial investigations were centered on whether Novus took patients “who did not qualify for services” and billed the federal government for services that were not necessary medically.
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI working with the Inspector General’s office of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
The website for the business at www.novushs.com contains a heading, in bold letters, that states:
Personal Care for Hospice and Home Health: Treating Patients The Way They Want To Be Treated
There have been no arrests or indictments in the case.