A jury has found two medical directors and one nurse from Dallas-based Novus Health guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud in a scheme that bilked close to $40 million from Medicare. The U.S. Department of Justice accused Mark E. Gibbs, M.D., Laila Hirjee, M.D., and nurse Tammie Little of aiding Novus CEO Bradley Harris defraud Medicare by submitting materially false claims for hospice services, providing kickbacks for referrals, violating HIPAA to recruit beneficiaries, and destroying documents to conceal the evidence.
Harris was convicted in March and is awaiting sentencing at a hearing scheduled for Aug. 3. He could be sentenced to as many as 14 years in prison. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Gibbs was convicted of two counts of health care fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. Likewise, Hirjee received a guilty verdict for three counts of fraud and one drug offense. The physicians allegedly left blank, signed prescription pads that Harris used to provide controlled substances to patients, even though he is not a physician or licensed independent practitioner. Little was found guilty of three fraud counts.
Gibbs was acquitted of a third fraud charge despite being convicted for the other two.