Bioethics Blogs

Hospice Fraud and Euthanasia

FisherBroyles summarizes recent federal prosecutions of healthcare fraud. There were 60 in 2015.  They break these cases into four types:

  1. Kickbacks paid to physicians and other healthcare providers for hospice referrals
  2. Recruiting hospice patients who are not medically eligible for hospice care
  3. Classifying patients as requiring a higher level of care than medically necessary
  4. Providing more treatment than medically necessary

Perhaps the most disturbing cases are those in which patients were recruited who were not even terminally ill.  For example, at the end of February, indictments were handed down against owners and clinicians at Novus and Optim in Texas.  

Among numerous other types of fraud, to justify the higher payments for continuous care, nurses gave high doses of drugs such as morphine, regardless of whether patients needed it.  In some instances, these excessive dosages resulted in death. (US Attorney, Northern District of Texas)

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.