The FBI says the proprietor of a North Texas medical company told nurses to overdose hospice patients on drugs such as morphine to speed up their deaths and maximize profits.
34-year-old Brad Harris founded Novus Health Care Services, Inc., in July 2012. Harris ordered a nurse to dispense overdoses to three patients and told another worker to increase a patient’s medication to four-times the maximum allowed, the FBI wrote in an affidavit.
Harris has been accused of sending text messages such as, "You need to make this patient go bye-bye," according to Daily Mail.
In the first case, the nurse declined to follow Harris' instructions, according to the FBI affidavit, though the document doesn’t mention whether the other three patients were actually harmed.
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Harris also told other health-care executives over a lunch meeting that he wanted to "find patients who would die within 24 hours," and made comments like, "if this f----- would just die," according to the FBI warrant.
Neither Novus nor Harris have not been indicted yet, reports NBCDFW.
The Novus website states:
"We have a saying at Novus, be fast and treat people the way we would want to be treated. This encourages us to go the extra mile to make patients feel comfortable and secure about their special needs and requests."
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It’s not guaranteed that health-care providers make more profit from longer hospice stays. But if patients who are on Medicare or Medicaid live too long, the provider may be forced to give back their payments to the government.
"Hence, hospice providers have an incentive to enroll patients whose hospice stays will be short relative to the cap," an agent wrote in the affidavit.
In the Feb. 3 warrant, authorities said they were investigating health care fraud, false statements relating to health care matters, and obstruction of a criminal investigation into health care offenses.
Novus' offices were searched on Sept. 17, 2015, and police seized 18 DVDs containing the company's emails.