Bradford County Nurse Practitioner Charged with Illegal Prescribing and Fraud

February 25, 2022 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced today that a Bradford County nurse practitioner has been charged with felony violations of Drug Act, Insurance Fraud, and Medicaid Fraud. She is charged for prescribing medications without a collaborating doctor and multiple counts of false billing, including while she was engaging in a personal relationship with her patient.

“This defendant is accused of engaging in activity that violated her responsibilities as a medical professional and stole resources meant to help our most vulnerable,” said AG Shapiro. “We will not allow individuals to compromise our Commonwealth’s health care programs and put patients at risk.”

Stephanie King, 45, of Ulster, is charged with three felony counts of Violation of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, two felony counts of Insurance Fraud, six felony counts of Medicaid Fraud, six felony counts of Forgery, two felony counts of Tampering with Public Records, and three felony counts of Theft by Deception.

The investigation found that beginning in November 2016, King entered into a sexual relationship with a patient at her Athens practice and billed a private insurer for their rendezvous during this time. Thereafter, King allegedly entered a second relationship with a patient and continued to prescribe controlled substances to him, despite discontinuing medical care for him after the relationship began.

Prosecutors also allege that Ms. King misled past physician collaborators and renewed previous agreements without their knowledge. Under Pennsylvania law, nurse practitioners are required to enter into collaborative agreements with Pennsylvania licensed physicians in order to perform medical diagnoses and to prescribe controlled substances.

In total – the investigation found that Ms. King falsely billed in excess of $300,000 to private insurers, as well as $100,000 to the Commonwealth for services below acceptable medical treatment standards. Additionally, she allegedly wrote over 3,750 prescriptions to patients while not meeting the requirements to prescribe under Pennsylvania law.

The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Mark Bellavia and Deputy Attorney General Christopher R. Sherwood and was investigated by Special Agents David Bunchalk and Matthew Yocum.

The Pennsylvania Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $9,133,920 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $3,044,638 for FY 2022, is funded by Pennsylvania.

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