Jerked Around

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing has the highest rate of nonfatal occupational injuries. Some of those injuries occur from manually lifting and moving patients or physical assault by patients. (The American Nurses Association reports that 1 in 4 nurses have been physically assaulted.) Today’s fraud article is about a nursing assistant from Sacramento, California who committed workers’ compensation fraud by claiming she sustained a physical assault by a patient.

The nurse, who worked for a healthcare provider, claimed she sustained an on-the-job injury to her wrist, causing her to be unable to work. Apparently, a patient caused the injury by grabbing her hand, twisting it and repeatedly jerking it. (She said that incident caused pain and swelling in her wrist.)

The nurse made a visit to a doctor and had images taken. Even though the images did not reveal an obvious injury, the treating physician placed the nurse on restricted duty because she complained her pain and stress levels were increasing.

The nurse’s case came under scrutiny after she cancelled several medical appointments to follow up on her injury. In the meantime, surveillance was conducted on the injured nurse. Footage showed that she could use her right hand without any limitations or pain. (How about that? Go figure.) Suffice to say, when her treating physician saw the surveillance, he said it didn’t match up with what the nurse claimed she could and could not do. (Even though the nurse continued to complain about her injury, the doctor sent her back to work without restrictions.)

The Sacramento area nurse was caught red-handed. She pled no contest to misdemeanor workers’ compensation fraud. The judge sentenced her to three years of probation and ordered restitution of $8,382.31. That should effectively end today’s fraudster’s attempt to jerk around the California Workers’ Compensation system.  (Let’s hope the prescribed treatment is effective.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Sacramento Defendant Sentenced for Workers’ Comp Fraud,” posted on workerscompensation.com on September 7, 2018.

Sacramento, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – Holly Merrill-Miller pled no contest to misdemeanor workers’ compensation fraud. The Honorable Lawrence Brown sentenced Miller to 3 years probation and ordered her to pay $8,382.31 in restitution.

Holly Miller was a 33-year-old nursing assistant with Sutter Health when she allegedly suffered an injury to her wrist. On September 22, 2015, Miller claimed a patient grabbed her hand, twisted it and repeatedly jerked it, causing pain and swelling.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.