A Pennsylvania nurse practitioner who specialized in psychiatric and mental health will have to pay $450,000 in restitution and turn in her Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner’s license after pleading guilty to prescribing medications without a collaborating doctor and false billing.
The investigation found that Stefanie King of Ulster, PA pleaded guilty to one felony count of violating the Controlled Substance Act Obtained by Subterfuge; one felony count of Medicaid fraud; one felony count of insurance fraud; and one felony count of violating the Controlled Substance Act-Delivery by Practitioner. Some of the charged Controlled Substance Act Violationshappened while she was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a patient.
According to the criminal complaint filed in February 2022, King owned and operated The Center for Integrative Mental Health LLC. It has since been closed.
The investigation found that King falsely billed more than $300,000 to private insurers, and another $100,000 to the Commonwealth, for services below acceptable medical treatment standards. In addition, she wrote more than 3,750 prescriptions to patients while not meeting the requirements to prescribe under Pennsylvania law. The investigation was initiated following an anonymous tip.
In Pennsylvania, nurse practitioners who are allowed to prescribe must enter into agreements with Pennsylvania licensed physicians to perform medical diagnoses and prescribe controlled substances. Investigators found that King misled past physician collaborators and renewed previous agreements without them knowing thus violating the controlled substance act. According to the criminal complaint King worked with several physicians dating back as early as 2010 but did not have current relationships with any of them.
The investigation found King had sexual relationships with two patients: one relationship began in November 2016, and she billed a private insurer for their “sexual liaisons.” She then later entered a second relationship with a different patient and continued to prescribe controlled substances to him, despite having stopped treating the patient after the relationship began.
The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale utilizes a team of healthcare attorneys, consultants and experts to represent nurses and other healthcare professionals who are the subject or targets of healthcare fraud, Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud or private insurance fraud investigations.
Becoming the target of a healthcare fraud or investigation is serious business. The best outcome would be to avoid being disciplined or charged and, in the process, prevent all the unwanted publicity and damage to your reputation and your business.
The minute you become aware that you or your company are under investigation is when you should contact a qualified health care attorney who specializes in professional licensing matters and criminal healthcare fraud.
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