Happy New Year! Welcome to the very first Allegiant Experts blog post of 2024. On behalf of our entire team, we hope you had a wonderful holiday season surrounded by family and friends. As well, we hope that your 2024 has started off amazingly. May this year be your most joyous and successful one to date!
As always, the Allegiant Experts team remains committed to bridging the disciplines of coding, billing, medicine and law to ensure your team’s success. Healthcare audits, compliance and investigations require a broad and deep understanding of various disciplines to uncover the facts. Our experts work together as a specialized team whose individual professional contributions are critical to uncovering the correct course and achieving a successful outcome.
Illinois nurse charged with tampering with morphine prescribed to a patient.
This particular story caught our eye as it reminded us of the true-crime book, The Good Nurse. Also a 2022 Netflix film, it is the story of serial killer, Charles Cullen. Working as a nurse throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Cullen took the lives of several victims by injecting their IV bags and creating overdoses.
As reported by the Northern District of Illinois branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in late December, Nickole Butler is accused of removing liquid morphine prescribed to a patient and diluting it with another liquid. The Byron, Illinois-based nurse is alleged to have known the diluted substance would be dispensed to the patient.
Butler was employed as a registered nurse at a skilled nursing facility.
“The indictment alleges that Butler tampered with the liquid morphine on May 16, 2021, with reckless disregard and extreme indifference for the risk that the patient would be placed in danger of bodily injury,” details the report. She is charged with one count of tampering with a consumer product. Butler, however, pleaded not guilty during her December 21 arraignment in a Chicago federal court.
The indictment was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. “Patients deserve to have confidence that they are receiving the legitimately prescribed medication and not a diluted substance,” Pasqual is quoted as saying in the report, “Health care practitioners who illicitly tamper with prescription drugs will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Ronne Malham, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations was also part of the announcement. “U.S. consumers rely on the FDA to oversee the prescription drug supply chain and ensure that their medicines are safe and effective,” said Malham, “When that supply chain is breached, the public’s health is put at risk. We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who jeopardize consumers’ trust in their medications.”
Are you an attorney who is currently working a healthcare fraud case?
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