Hospice nurses told to overdose patients?

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The owner of a Texas hospice company is being investigated for allegedly encouraging employees to overdose patients and hasten their death to avoid the federal reimbursement cap for hospice stays.

Brad Harris, owner of Novus Health Care Services Inc., allegedly told a nurse to overdose three patients on drugs such as morphine, and instructed another employee to give a patient four times the maximum dose, according to an FBI affidavit obtained by a Dallas television station.

In another instance, Harris texted an employee of the Frisco, TX-based company, “You need to make this patient go bye-bye.”

The affidavit was publicly released in late March. No charges have been filed against Harris or Novus as of press time, and Harris remains free. 

The affidavit also accuses Harris of telling other healthcare executives that he sought out “patients who would die within 24 hours.” It's unclear if any patients were harmed.

The FBI's affidavit says Harris was motivated to find patients whose hospice stays were forecasted to be short or speed up their deaths to skirt payment caps placed on hospice care by Medicare and Medicaid.