Two owners of psychological services companies, one of whom was a clinical psychologist, were convicted Wednesday for their involvement in a $25.2 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to officials.
The scam was carried out through eight companies at nursing homes in four states in the Southeastern U.S., officials announced Wednesday.
The two defendants charged were the following people:
- Rodney Hesson, Psy.D, 47, of Slidell, Louisiana, licensed clinical psychologist and owner of Nursing Home Psychological Service of Louisiana LLC, Nursing Home Psychological Service of Mississippi LLC, Nursing Home Psychological Services of Florida LLC and Nursing Home Psychological Service of Alabama LLC (collectively NHPS)
- Gertrude Parker, 63, of Slidell, Louisiana, owner of Psychological Care Services of Louisiana, Psychological Care Services of Mississippi, Psychological Care Services of Alabama and Psychological Care Services of Florida (collectively PCS), were convicted following a seven-day jury trial.
They were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to make false statements related to health care matters.
The jury verdict included a money judgment of $8.9 million as well as forfeiture of Hesson’s home and at least $525,629 in seized currency.
A sentencing hearing for both defendants is set for May 4.
According to the evidence, the defendants’ companies contracted with nursing homes in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi to allow NHPS and PCS clinical psychologists to provide psychological services to nursing home residents.
Hesson and Parker caused these companies to bill Medicare for hours of psychological testing services that these nursing home residents did not need or in some instances did not receive.
Between 2009 and 2015, NHPS and PCS submitted over $25.2 million in claims to Medicare, a significant amount of these claims being fraudulent. Medicare paid more than $13.5 million on the fraudulent claims.