The Advocate reported the prison sentence for a mother-son team that defrauded Medicare for bogus psychological services for nursing home patients in Louisiana and three other states.  Prosecutors say Medicare paid out more than $13 million under the swindle.  A jury convicted psychologist Rodney Hesson and his mother, Gertrude Parker, each on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to make false statements.

Hesson was sentenced to 15 years in prison and must pay back $13.8 million, and Parker to seven years and restitution of $7.3 million.  Hesson and Parker ran the fraud scheme through two companies: Nursing Home Psychological Services and Psychological Care Services.

The firms contracted with nursing homes in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. Prosecutors argued at trial that the firms billed taxpayers thousands of times for psychological testing that the patients didn’t need and often never received.

Court records show that two other defendants in the case pleaded guilty last fall.

John Teal, a clinical psychologist, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and was sentenced to two years in prison. Teal admitted to administering tests to nursing home patients who were “either non-responsive or were otherwise unable to meaningfully participate.”

Beverly Stubblefield pleaded guilty to a health fraud conspiracy count and received a 30-year sentence. She admitted she supervised five clinical psychologists and filed false documents.

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