Hospice Administrator Sentenced to 15 Months For Admitting Ineligible Patients

Former hospice executive Mary Ann Stewart, 48, of Carrolltown, Pennsylvania will spend 15 months in federal prison for defrauding Medicare by claiming patients were eligible for hospice, when in fact they were not.  Ms. Stewart was the COO of Horizons Hospice LLC in suburban Pittsburgh and pleaded guilty in June 2016 to one count of health care fraud.  In her guilty plea, Ms. Stewart admitted to orchestrating a scheme whereby she caused her staff to place non-qualifying patients into hospice care and then re-certified the patients for continued hospice care.  The scheme was perpetrated from January 2008 to August 2012 and Ms. Stewart earned more than $300,000 annually over this time period.  The government stated that millions of dollars were paid out due to this fraud.  Ms. Stewart was also ordered to pay restitution of $175,000.