16 with a North Texas hospice accused of $60M Medicare fraud

DALLAS (AP) — A federal indictment charges 16 people affiliated with a North Texas hospice of rigging patient care and record-keeping, including administering drug overdoses, fraudulently reaping $60 million in Medicare payments.

A Justice Department statement says a federal grand jury in Dallas indicted the 16 on single counts each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Two also are charged with at least one other conspiracy-related count.

The indictment alleges the 16 affiliated with Novus Health Services in Frisco, Texas, falsely certified as terminal patients who didn’t have terminal illnesses, qualifying them for continuous care whether the patient needed it or not. Those patients would be given large doses of morphine or other opiates, whether the painkillers were needed or not.

A message left with Novus drew no response.