Maryland Nursing Director Faces Prescription Fraud Charges
A nursing director at a Maryland nursing home faces charges of forging signatures on prescription slips and attempting to obtain oxycodone at an area pharmacy. On August 24, 2011, Maryland State Police arrested Pamela Brittingham Quillen, nursing director of Manokin Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Princess Anne, and charged her with prescription forgery. She was released that day on a $5,000 bond.
Quillen is accused of forging the signatures of two individuals: Vincent Lewis, a physician's assistant at Manokin Manor, and Dr. Vel Natesan, an internist in nearby Salisbury, Maryland. She then allegedly took the forged prescription to Karemore Pharmacy in Princess Anne. A pharmacist contacted Dr. Natesan’s office to verify the prescription. Dr. Natesan received a faxed copy of the prescription, confirmed with Lewis that it was a forgery, and contacted state police. Video surveillance footage also places Quillen at the pharmacy at the time the prescription was presented. Quillen now faces a trial date on October 14.
Coverage of this story offers no indication of any history of drug use or abuse by Quillen, nor does it address her employment at a nursing home. She is charged with five separate offenses:
- obtaining a prescription by fraud under Maryland Criminal Code section 5-701(d)(4)(i);
- obtaining a prescription by counterfeit or alteration under Maryland Criminal Code section 5-701(d)(4)(ii);
- obtaining a prescription by concealment under Maryland Criminal Code section 5-701(d)(4)(iii);
- personal identity information theft under Maryland Criminal Code section 8-301(c)(2)(i); and
- theft of less than $100.00 under Maryland Criminal Code section 7-104.
Each of these offenses is a misdemeanor under Maryland law, carrying maximum jail terms from 90 days up to 2 years and fines up to $5,000.00. She will get her day in court, but her case demonstrates the importance of professionalism and care in nursing homes, particularly in positions of leadership.
To operate a Maryland nursing home, one must be licensed as a nursing home administrator by the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators. Nursing home administrators must adhere to a high standard of care in carrying out their professional duties. A nursing home can be a large and complex organization, requiring management of doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and other employees, not to mention the care of sick and elderly patients with a vast range of needs.
The Code of Maryland Regulations addresses licensing of nursing home administrators and identifies situations when the Board of Examiners may revoke a license. Two possible situations are when a licensee “has endangered or sanctioned the endangerment of the safety, health, and life of any patient;” or “has failed to oversee and facilitate the nursing facilities quality improvement processes to the extent that the safety, health, or life of any patient has been endangered.” In 2007, the Board of Examiners suspended the license of an administrator who, among other acts, was found to have rendered professional services while using cocaine. An administrator who violates the trust given them by the state may lose their license, and the nursing home may be liable for damages caused by their conduct.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of negligence in the operation of a Maryland or Washington, DC nursing home, you may be entitled to relief. Please contact the experienced lawyers at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC now to discuss your rights.
Nursing director faces drug fraud charges, Delmarva Now, August 31, 2011
Additional Web Resources:
Maryland Health Occupations Code, Title 9, Nursing Home Administrators
Maryland Code of Regulations, Title 10, Subtitle 33, Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators
Related Blog Posts:
Hospice Nurse Charged for Elder Abuse and Narcotic Theft, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, August 24, 2011
Nursing Home Worker Steals Resident’s Pain Patch for Pleasure, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, June 30, 2011
Nursing Home Aide Steals Drug By Licking Painkiller Patch on Resident’s Back, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, May 27, 2010