Henry McInnis of Harlingen, Texas, CEO of the health care organization Merida Group, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday for his involvement in a medical fraud scheme that involved lying to patients about their life expectancy in order to enroll them in hospice programs.
McInnis, who had no previous medical experience, told patients with long-term terminal illnesses that they had less than six months to live. Enrollment in most hospice services requires a patient to have a project six months life expectancy. Trial evidence showed that Merida Group targeted patients in congregational living situations, including those diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Merida Group sent chaplains to visit the victims of the scheme to “discuss last rites and preparation for their imminent death.”