BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – A 40-year-old Sheridan, Wyo., woman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in Idaho, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced.
According to court records, from April 2017 through October 2019, Kristen Bolling conspired to commit health care fraud. Bolling accepted pre-filled medical orders from companies, signing the orders without seeing the patients or making a medical necessity determination and returning the signed orders to the companies in exchange for compensation. During this time, Bolling was licensed and practiced as a nurse practitioner in Idaho. She was also licensed in Wyoming, Colorado, and Washington.
Bolling was recruited to work for multiple companies to generate fraudulent medical orders for durable medical equipment (DME), including braces, and cancer genomic testing (CGx). Bolling received kickbacks of approximately $15-$30 per “consult” performed, with the expectation that a “consult” would result in a signed medical order. During the conspiracy, Bolling received at least $204,007 in kickbacks for fraudulent medical orders. The medical orders that Bolling signed, and which the companies sold, were used to fraudulently bill Medicare resulting in payments of over $6.1 million for DME and CGx tests that were not medically necessary and for which the medical orders were procured through the payment of kickbacks and bribes.
“Ensuring the integrity of Medicare and other federal health care programs is a priority for my office,” U.S. Attorney Hurwit said. “It’s about protecting taxpayer funds and, ultimately, patient well-being. We will continue to hold accountable anyone who engages in illegal kickback schemes like the one uncovered through this investigation.”
“By engaging in kickback arrangements, this defendant knowingly put personal profit before legitimate patient needs. This illegal behavior undermines the integrity of federal healthcare programs and costs taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Steven Ryan, Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).
Bolling is scheduled to be sentenced on January 9, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the work of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, which led to the charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Darci Crane is prosecuting the case.