A Texas hospice provider’s deadly scheme

(NOTE: Before going on, I want to thank all of you for the kindness you’ve expressed after the passing of my trusty journalism sidekick, Rusty  I’ve been pretty distracted the past couple of weeks, so thanks for your patience.  I’m back in the saddle now. PS: We raised $1,700 for the Liberty Humane Society at Rusty’s “Irish wake” earlier this week.  Find out more @RustyDogFriendly on Instagram)

Hospice is a beautiful, essential service that can help families deal with an incredibly difficult and sensitive time in life. It can allow death with dignity for people who are terminally ill. Many — most — of the nurses and doctors who work in hospice are nothing short of heroes. You might have heard recently that former President Jimmy Carter just entered hospice.

Back in the 1980s, the U.S. extended hospice coverage to Medicare patients, ensuring that more Americans would have access to this critical benefit. Unfortunately, unscrupulous operators often try to cheat Medicare through criminal enterprises – and hospice benefits have been a target of such criminals. In some cases, the results have been deadly.

Today, we release part 1 of our two-part series on a heinous hospice crime that took place outside Dallas. After a 7-year investigation and prosecution, the final suspects were sentenced recently, so it’s time to tell the full story. First, you’ll hear from a daughter, Judy Venable-Grogan, who watched her mother slowly slip deeper and deeper into what appeared to be cognitive decline — who was so over-medicated that she essentially became an addict, all the while suffering from extreme diarrhea — but yet Judy could not get much more than a fax from hospice doctors.  Later, she learns that the CEO of the hospice company would regularly instruct medical professionals to take steps that hastened patients’ deaths.

Then, you’ll hear from investigators who spent years uncovering the depths of fraud happening at the company.

Here is a 45-second clip of Judy describing what happened  (click play or follow this link)

And here is a link to the podcast (Click here or click play below.)

The conclusion will be released next Friday. Thanks for listening.

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About Bob Sullivan 1638 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

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