Tennessee nurse pleads guilty in $65.7M telemedicine fraud scheme

A nurse practitioner pleaded guilty Nov. 27 to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud for her role in a $65.7 million scheme that involved prescribing expensive compounded medications to Tricare beneficiaries, according to the Department of Justice.

As part of her guilty plea, Candace Craven, NP, admitted she conducted sham telemedicine evaluations that resulted in the prescription of the compounded medications to patients she never examined in person.

A team of people allegedly recruited and paid Marines to obtain compounded medications that would be paid for by Tricare. Their information was sent to Choice MD, a medical clinic in Tennessee that employed Ms. Craven. She then conducted phone calls with the Tricare beneficiaries and recommended they be prescribed compounded medications. The prescriptions were signed by physicians and sent directly to pharmacies controlled by co-conspirators, according to the Justice Department.

Ms. Craven was the seventh defendant charged for her role in the fraud scheme. She is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8.

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