ULSTER, Pa. (WETM) – A nurse that ran a holistic and mental health center in Athens pleaded guilty to multiple felonies for illegally filling thousands of prescriptions, agreed to give up her license and will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Pa. Attorney General’s Office announced that Stefanie King, 46, a nurse practitioner from Ulster who owned and operated The Center for Holistic and Integrative Mental Health (CHIMH) pleaded guilty to four felonies for insurance and Medicaid fraud, as well as violating the Controlled Substance Act. She agreed to give up her nurse practitioner license, to not practice as a nurse during her sentence, and to pay a combined $449,185 to Highmark and Community Care Behavorial Health Organization.
King was charged in Feb. 2022 for the fraud. She was accused of writing over 3,750 prescriptions without meeting the requirements of Pennsylvania law. She also falsely billed $300,000 to private insurers and $100,000 to the Commonwealth. King was also accused of misleading former physician collaboratos and “renewed previous agreements without their knowledge.”
The AG’s announcement said starting in 2016, King entered a sexual relationship with a patient and billed his private insurance for their therapy sessions. The relationship continued for several months until she started a sexual relationship with another patient in the spring of 2017. The AG said that King discontinued his medical care but continued to prescribe controlled substances to him without collaborating with any physicians.
“The defendant abused her position of trust by engaging in conduct that served herself and violated a system meant to assist our most vulnerable residents,” said AG Michelle Henry. “My office is committed to holding accountable those who put patients at risk and compromise our health care programs.”