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Hospice Owner Allegedly Told Nurses To Overdose Patients To Increase Profits

Hospice Owner Allegedly Told Nurses To Overdose Patients To Increase Profits

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The FBI is investigating a north Texas medical company executive who repeatedly told nurses at Novus Health Care Services, Inc., to administer fatal overdoses of morphine to “speed up their deaths and maximize profits,” according to NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Brad Harris, the founder of Novus Care who also serves as an accountant at the facility, allegedly sent text messages to nurses and employees like “You need to make this patient go bye-bye” while instructing them to overdose at least three patients. He purportedly told another employee to increase another patient’s medication to four times the maximum amount allowed.

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Patients who spend a long amount of time in hospice care can end up costing facilities money because of what is called an “aggregator cap,” which forces organizations to pay back Medicare and Medicaid payments to the government if a patient lives too long. The idea is that, since hospice care is so expensive, patients will not be moved there unless it is believed they will pass soon.

However, according to the investigation, Norris, who “has no medical training or licenses,” would enroll patients who did not qualify for hospice services, moving them from home health care at his own discretion, and then move them back if they were getting close to the aggregator cap — all without regard to their medical condition. He would also charge the government for services that were not medically necessary. He did this by having employees forge the signatures of doctors who also worked with the organization.

According to the FBI, in a lunch meeting with health care executives, Harris was quoted as asking them to “find patients who would die within 24 hours” because that would “save my ass toward the cap.” He also spoke of one patient with “words to the effect of, ‘If this fucker would just die.’”

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It is not known whether patients died as the result of Harris’ orders, but the employee who was told to increase a patients medication reportedly refused to.

Novus’ website reads “Our company provides exceptional personalized service. We allow the patients and the families to call the shots. If the new referral wants to be admitted that same day we do it. We encourage all families to choose our service as early in the process as possible because it leads to a better experience for everyone involved.”

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One reply on “Hospice Owner Allegedly Told Nurses To Overdose Patients To Increase Profits”

This is the problem with healthcare for profit. The idea that the pursuit of increasing profits and responsible medical care can coexist is a complete fallacy.

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