Andre Kirkland, 52, of Cleveland, Mississippi was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Oxford on September 1, 2016, on charges that he defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by signed up patients for hospice care who were not terminally ill.
Kirkland, who owned and operated Revelation Hospice in Clarksdale, pled guilty on May 4, 016, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He was sentenced to serve 48 months in home confinement in lieu of imprisonment due to recurrent metastatic cancer, which required substantial medical care. Kirkland was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,400,843.50 to Medicare and $66,171.43 to Medicaid.
The investigation revealed that Andre Kirkland and Revelation Hospice were knowingly enrolling non-hospice eligible Medicaid and Medicare recipients and then filing false hospice claims to Medicaid and Medicare for services that were not medically necessary or were not ever provided. Kirkland, as a registered nurse and Revelation’s Director of Nursing, personally admitted non-hospice appropriate Medicaid and Medicare recipients into Revelation and deceived the patients about the true nature of the services in which they were being enrolled. As part of this deception, many patients unknowingly signed Do Not Resuscitate forms along with undated hospice revocation forms. Kirkland would later use the revocation forms to discharge patients from Revelation Hospice without the patient’s knowledge.
As the Director of Nursing for Revelation, Andre Kirkland was responsible for hospice admissions and the supervision of all nursing staff. He also treated patients in the field. According to patient interviews, Kirkland deceived patients about the true nature of the services they were being enrolled in and never told the patients that they were terminally ill. Most of the patients enrolled in hospice care were not terminally ill and were therefore not eligible for hospice care. For example, one of the patients enrolled was a 29 year old pregnant female who was not terminally ill and was not in any way hospice eligible. She remains in good health today, years after Kirkland fraudulently enrolled her in hospice care.
A medical review of a 30-patient Medicare patient sample revealed that 100% of those patients were not eligible. Revelation had a live discharge rate of 93.30%, meaning that 93.30% of patients enrolled were discharged from Revelation Hospice while still living. By comparison, 2010 data shows that the national average live discharge rate for hospices is 18.2%.