VA PATIENT PLEADS GUILTY

A MAN ACCUSED OF ATTACKING A FEDERAL POLICE OFFICER AT MOUNTAIN HOME VA MEDICAL CENTER PLEADED GUILTY TO THE CRIME. RICKY D GOSNELL, A PATIENT AT MOUNTAIN HOME, ADMITTED TO BREAKING THE OFFICER’S FINGER, INJURING HIS HIP, AND SCRATCHING HIS FACE AND HEAD, DURING AN ALTERCATION LAST FEBRUARY. THE ATTACK OCCURRED AFTER A DOCTOR CALLED FOR HELP WHILE TREATING GOSNELL. SENTENCING IS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 2ND. GOSNELL FACES UP TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON, AND UP TO A 250,000 DOLLAR FINE.

 

HEALTHCARE FRAUD SUSPECT APPEARS IN COURT

ONE OF THREE SUSPECTS IN A FEDERAL HEALTHCARE FRAUD CASE MADE HER INITIAL COURT APEPARANCE IN ABINGDON. 64 YEAR OLD DEBORAH BRANCH APPEARED BEFORE THE JUDGE THURSDAY. BRANCH, 49 YEAR OLD MELISSA HARR, AND 40 YEAR OLD BRYAN HARR, ALL OF BRISTOL VIRGINIA, ARE EACH CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF HEALTHCARE FRAUD, CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT HEALTH CARE FRAUD, AND TWO COUNTS OF WIRE FRAUD. PREOSECUTORS SAY BRANCH WAS EMPLOYED BY THE COUPLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR DISABLED SON, AND OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD BEGINNING IN JANUARY 2010, THE HARRS SUBMITTED TIME SHEETS FOR BRANCH FOR SERVICES PAID FOR BY VIRGINIA MEDICARE, THROUGH THE INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY WAIVER PROGRAM, THAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYS BRANCH DID NOT PROVIDE. MORE THAN 350,000 OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS WERE PAID OUT FOR THE CHILD’S CARE INCLUDING OVER 207,000 DOLALRS TO BRANCH.  

 


 

GATLINBURG FIRES—UPDATE

 

THE DEATH TOLL IS AT 11..WITH AT LEAST 80 INJURIES.. AND OVER 700 STRUCTURES DAMAGED OR DESTROYED IN GATLINBURG AND SEVIER COUNTY—AFTER WILDFIRES TORE THROUGH THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY. SEARCH EFFORTS CONTINUE—IN GATLINBURG AND SEVIER COUNTY—AND SEVIER COUNTY MAYOR LARRY WATERS HOPES THAT’LL BE FINISHED BY NIGHTFALL, "THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT IS WORKING WITH THE TBI AND THE CITY OF GATLINBURG IN THESE COUNTY AREAS WHO ARE DOING SEARCH AND ASSESSING DAMAGE." 

IT’S ALSO HOPED THAT THE PARKWAY AND RIVER ROAD WILL BE RE-OPENED MONDAY--AND PROPERTY OWNERS WILL BE ALLOWED BACK IN EARLY NEXT WEEK.


 

GATLINBURG FIRES—MONETARY


SEVIER COUNTY AND GATLINBURG OFFICIALS SAY THEY’VE BEEN OVERWHELMED WITH DONATIONS OF WATER, CLOTHING AND OTHER ITEMS—NOT ONLY FROM THE TRI-CITIES AND ALL OF EAST TENNESSEE, BUT ACROSS THE NATION.  IF YOU HAVEN’T AND WOULD LIKE TO HELP, A DONATION TO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS IS THE BEST WAY.  GLENDA BOBALICK IS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NORTHEAST CHAPTER, "THAT ALLOWS US TO DO INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE BASED ON WHAT THEIR NEEDS ARE."  YOU CAN TEXT RED CROSS TO 90999.


 

 

 

 

MSHA REACHES SETTLEMENT

MOUNTAIN STATES HEALTH ALLIANCE WILL PAY $50-THOUSAND DOLLARS AS PART OF A SETTLEMENT WITH A GREENEVILLE COUPLE—WHO CLAIMED THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER VIOLATED THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT.  CHRISTOPHER AND DONNA CANTRELL ARE BOTH DEAF—AND ALLEGE THEY DIDN’T HAVE PROPER COMMUNICATION WITH HOSPITAL STAFF—WHILE THEIR DAUGHTER WAS A PATIENT.  THE CANTRELLS CLAIM THEY HAD TO RELY ON THEIR DAUGHTER AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS TO INTEPRET FOR THEM.  AS PART OF THE SETTLEMENT, MSHA WILL IMPLEMENT STEPS TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THOSE WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING.  THE FINE IS THE LARGEST LEVIED BY ANY U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFICE REGARDING COMMUNICATION IN HOSPITALS.


 

 

 

 

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