Collin County

Collin County Hospice Owner Agrees to Plead Guilty to Health Care Fraud

Sixteen people were indicted in a $60 million scheme, prosecutors said.

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The owner of a Collin County hospice who was once accused by the FBI of ordering nurses to overdose patients agreed to plead guilty on Monday to two counts of health care fraud in a plea deal that makes no mention that anybody was intentionally killed.

Bradley Harris, owner of Novus Health Services and Optim Health Services in Frisco, admitted in court documents that he conspired to defraud Medicaid and Medicare by submitting bills they knew were false.

Harris faces 14 years in prison, according to the deal. A formal sentencing date has not been set.

Novus and Optim were separate companies on paper but shared the same staff and office and acted as the same entity, prosecutors said.

When Harris and 15 others were indicted in February 2017, prosecutors described it as a $60 million fraud scheme.

FBI agents raided the company’s offices two years earlier and in a search warrant claimed Harris told nurses to deliberately overdose some patients with morphine and other drugs to hasten their deaths.

But the indictment and the plea agreement do not include such allegations.

“You need to make this patient go bye-bye,” Harris told one of the nurses, according to the 2015 search warrant.

Government rules allow higher-priced care for hospice patients in their final days but owners must pay back money for patients who survive too long, diminishing their profits.

In the plea deal, known as a factual resume, Harris admitted that from May 2012 until May 2016, he billed the government for hospice services that were either not provided or not supported by medical documentation.

Harris said he used blank forms pre-signed by doctors to submit false claims.

In some cases, a doctor certified she saw patients “face-to-face” when she was on vacation outside the country, Harris said.

Nine others involved in the conspiracy have pleaded guilty.

Six are awaiting trial, which is set for April 5.

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