Psychologists plead guilty in $25 million SNF fraud scheme

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Two psychologists pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges that they billed Medicare millions of dollars for psychological tests unnecessarily administered to nursing home residents.

Beverly Stubblefield, Ph.D., and John Teal, Ph.D., each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. The two worked as clinical psychologists for Nursing Home Psychological Services, Inc. and Psychological Care Services, Inc., companies that contracted with nursing homes in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to provide psychological testing to residents.

Stubblefield and Teal admitted to authorities that a large number of these tests were not medically necessary, and many were never administered. Some tests were repeatedly given  to the same incapacitated residents who could not meaningfully participate in testing.

NHPS and PCS submitted more than $25.2 million in claims to the Medicare program between 2009 and 2015. Stubblefield and Teal were personally responsible for more than $5.6 million in fraudulent claims, according to the Department of Justice.

Two other co-defendants in the case, a mother and son duo who owned NHPS and PCS, were charged in 2015 and are slated to go on trial in October.