There are all sorts of psychological tests that can be used to evaluate a person. (There are aptitude, intelligence, neuropsychological, occupational, personality, and other specific tests that measure anxiety or depression, just to name a few.) Two clinical psychologists in Mississippi used a battery of psychological tests to prey upon nursing home residents and submitted millions of dollars in fraudulent claims to Medicare.
The two psychologists worked for two companies that served nursing homes all across the southeastern United States. For approximately five years, the clinical psychologists performed psychological testing on nursing home residents across Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida and Alabama that were not medically necessary, and in some cases were not actually provided. They fraudulently submitted claims to Medicare worth more than $5.6 million.
The 62-year-old female psychologist from Louisiana and the 46-year-old male psychologist from Mississippi admitted to repeatedly performing the same psychological tests on the same nursing home residents, even though some of them were incapacitated and unable to actually participate in the testing. (That’s pretty scary because the results could have been used against the patients and caused unnecessary treatment.)
An interesting fact in this case is that the two owners of the two companies the psychologists worked for were also allegedly ”in” on the fraudulent scheme. They are charged with being part of a larger-scale scam to steal more than $25.2 million from Medicare. (Interestingly enough, one of the owners is actually the mother of the other owner.)
The clinical psychologists each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The alleged co-defendants the mother and son company owners are awaiting trial.
While the sentencing for the two clinical psychologists was not detailed in today’s ”Fraud of the Day” article, we can hope that the justice system will provide appropriate punishment to drive home the point that it is not acceptable to take advantage of the elderly and the government health care program that covers their medical needs. (Perhaps these two would benefit from having a few psychological tests performed on them to determine the appropriate type of counseling needed to rehabilitate their fraudulent ways.)
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a Department of Justice press release entitled, ”Two Psychologists Plead Guilty in $25 Million Nursing Home-Testing Scheme,” released on September 7, 2016.
Two clinical psychologists pleaded guilty today for their involvement in a fraudulent psychological testing scheme that preyed upon Medicare recipients living in nursing homes throughout the Southeastern United States.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Dallas Regional Office and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey S. Sallet of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office made the announcement.