A medical doctor and registered nurse have been charged with billing Medicare and Medicaid for physician services that were actually provided by the nurse. If convicted on the most serious charges, the doctor faces up to 15 years and the nurse faces up to 4 years in prison.
Jeanine Santiago, the medical doctor, and Wendy Potter, the registered nurse, are accused of conspiring to have Potter provide physician services to homebound patients and then billing Medicare and Medicaid as if the services had been provided by Santiago.
Physician services are reimbursed at a higher rate than services provided by a nurse. In this case, the doctor is charged with billing Medicare and Medicaid for more than $50,000 in physician services that were actually provided by the nurse.
The criminal complaint also alleges that the doctor gave the nurse blank, pre-signed prescription forms, and that the nurse filled out the prescriptions at her discretion for narcotics such as morphine and oxycodone.
The doctor is charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony. She is also charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and Unauthorized Practice of a Profession, all of which are class E felonies. The nurse is charged with Unauthorized Practice of a Profession.