Jerked Around

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing has the highest rate of nonfatal occupational injuries. Some of those injuries occur from manually lifting and moving patients or physical assault by patients. (The American Nurses Association reports that 1 in 4 nurses have been physically assaulted.) Today’s fraud article is about a nursing assistant from Sacramento, California who committed workers’ compensation fraud by claiming she sustained a physical assault by a patient.

The nurse, who worked for a healthcare provider, claimed she sustained an on-the-job injury to her wrist, causing her to be unable to work. Apparently, a patient caused the injury by grabbing her hand, twisting it and repeatedly jerking it. (She said that incident caused pain and swelling in her wrist.)

The nurse made a visit to a doctor and had images taken. Even though the images did not reveal an obvious injury, the treating physician placed the nurse on restricted duty because she complained her pain and stress levels were increasing.

The nurse’s case came under scrutiny after she cancelled several medical appointments to follow up on her injury. In the meantime, surveillance was conducted on the injured nurse. Footage showed that she could use her right hand without any limitations or pain. (How about that? Go figure.) Suffice to say, when her treating physician saw the surveillance, he said it didn’t match up with what the nurse claimed she could and could not do. (Even though the nurse continued to complain about her injury, the doctor sent her back to work without restrictions.)

The Sacramento area nurse was caught red-handed. She pled no contest to misdemeanor workers’ compensation fraud. The judge sentenced her to three years of probation and ordered restitution of $8,382.31. That should effectively end today’s fraudster’s attempt to jerk around the California Workers’ Compensation system.  (Let’s hope the prescribed treatment is effective.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Sacramento Defendant Sentenced for Workers’ Comp Fraud,” posted on workerscompensation.com on September 7, 2018.

Sacramento, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – Holly Merrill-Miller pled no contest to misdemeanor workers’ compensation fraud. The Honorable Lawrence Brown sentenced Miller to 3 years probation and ordered her to pay $8,382.31 in restitution.

Holly Miller was a 33-year-old nursing assistant with Sutter Health when she allegedly suffered an injury to her wrist. On September 22, 2015, Miller claimed a patient grabbed her hand, twisted it and repeatedly jerked it, causing pain and swelling.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.