Two doctors, Dr. Mark E. Gibbs and Dr. Laila Hirjee, helped Novus Health Services, a hospice agency, to defraud Medicare in Dallas, Tex. Gibbs and Hirjee, who served as Medical Directors for Novus, partnered with a nurse and several high-ranking members and staff of Novus, including CEO Bradley Harris and his wife, who happened to be the Vice President of Patient Services.
Gibbs and Hirjee falsified consultations with patients whom Novus staff had selected in order to illegally admit them and submit false hospice care service claims. They further broke their Hippocratic Oath as doctors by pre-signing blank prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances, including fentanyl and morphine, for Novus staff to administer at will. (As if hospice patients and their families didn’t already have enough to worry about.)
When Medicare got suspicious about the billing, Novus moved its patients and employees under a new hospice company and kept the fraud alive. (Maybe some of them got a second chance at a better I.D. badge photo.)
Bradley Harris pleaded guilty ahead of the trial, then testified against Gibbs and Hirjee. (Is there no loyalty among fraudsters?) His wife, Amy, and other Novus staff also pleaded guilty ahead of trial and received sentencing ranging from two to 14 years in federal prison. As for the two doctors, Gibbs and Hirjee will be serving a combined 23 years in federal prison for Medicare fraud and healthcare fraud. (It appears that next quarter’s Novus all-staff meeting will be held in Cell Block C.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from CBS News – Dallas-Ft. Worth article and news segment, “2 Dallas Doctors Sentenced To Combined 23 Years In Prison For Massive Healthcare Fraud,” dated December 2, 2021.
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two North Texas doctors were sentenced to a combined 23 years in federal prison for healthcare fraud Thursday, Dec. 2, federal officials said.
According to the office of US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham, a federal jury found Dr. Mark E. Gibbs and Dr. Laila Hirjee guilty of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and other charges.