The Declaration of Independence asserts that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Sadly, 240 years later, we are learning that the “life” part is no longer of value. On Sunday, Hillary Clinton announced that children who were still in their mother’s womb had no rights. That announcement overshadowed another example of someone unconcerned about the value of life. This one was about harming people near the end of their life. It comes from Frisco, Texas where the FBI has released an affidavit claiming he owner of a hospice was ordering nurses to give patients overdoses to hasten their deaths, so he can make larger profits.
Per the FBI, 34 year-old Brad Harris, who founded the Hospice, Novus Health Care Services in July 2012, “has been under investigation since October 2014 for allegedly recruiting patients ‘who did not qualify for services’ in order to bill the government for services that were not medically necessary.”
A search warrant for emails and electronic documents was executed by the FBI in early February and turned up examples where the FBI believes Mr. Harris ordered the overdoses.
One incident released by the FBI had Harris ordering “a nurse to administer overdoses to three patients and directed another employee to increase a patient’s medication to four-times the maximum allowed, the FBI said. He allegedly sent text messages like, ‘You need to make this patient go bye-bye.‘” The nurse refused.
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Speaking of one of his patients, Harris said “words to the effect of, ‘If this f— would just die.’”
Another Novus employee told agents that in late 2013, Harris sent a text message asking the worker to “administer an overdose of medication to a hospice patient … by increasing the patient’s medication dosage to approximately four times the maximum allowed.”
The employee did not comply with the request because it would have killed the patient, the FBI said.
This in no way excuses Harris’ actions but the federal government encourages this kind of behavior by making sure the the quicker the patient dies, the more the hospice makes:
To control the greed and the accompanying costs, the federal government imposes an annual “aggregate” cap for hospice care of $27,820.75 per Medicaid/Medicare patient.
But a hospice might bill much more than that for a lingering patient while counting on billing less for somebody who comes in and quickly expires. The FBI reports that Harris spoke of wanting to “find patients who would die within 24 hours.”
The problem business-wise comes if too many patients hang on for too long. The hospice exceeds the cap.
Then comes a greedster’s nightmare. The hospice is required to pay back whatever it has billed over the limit…
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