Healthcare Crime: Investigating Abuse, Fraud, and Homicide by Caregivers, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Healthcare Crime

Investigating Abuse, Fraud, and Homicide by Caregivers, 1st Edition

By Kelly M. Pyrek

CRC Press

332 pages

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Crime perpetrated by healthcare professionals is increasingly pervasive in today’s hospitals and other healthcare settings. Patients, coworkers, and employers are vulnerable to exploitation, fraud, abuse, and even murder. Investigative journalist Kelly M. Pyrek interviews experts who provide accounts concerning the range of criminality lurking in the healthcare setting in Healthcare Crime: Investigating Abuse, Fraud, and Homicide by Caregivers.

Examines the root causes and the opportunities

The book begins by offering perspectives on how the stressors inherent in the healthcare profession can contribute to aberrant behavior by medical practitioners. It then examines breaches of patient privacy, which can easily occur in today’s age of technology. Highlighting appalling cases of exploitation, the book also suggests guidelines to safeguard patient privacy.

Identifies the victims most at risk, and those who are their greatest threats

In a chapter on abuse and assault, the book cites psychological studies that explain the root causes of victimization. It highlights the patient populations most at risk: disabled, psychiatric, and elderly, and identifies the chief victimizers: physicians, psychiatrists, dentists, pediatricians, and nursing assistants and aides. The book also examines the types of financial fraud and theft that can be perpetrated against not only patients but also employers and government agencies, and provides expert insight on how to take preventative measures.

Discusses notorious serial murders in the medical profession

Providing accounts of well-known healthcare-related homicides and suspicious deaths, the book also presents insights from forensic and serial murder experts as to why these incidents occur, warning signs to watch out for, and how to conduct a proper investigation. The final chapter examines simple, straightforward strategies for improving the level of quality of care and safety provided by healthcare institutions. With greater accountability and oversight, patients can once again feel secure that their providers are embracing the maxim "Above all, do no harm."

Table of Contents



Healthcare Trends, Stressors, and Workplace Violence

Stressors of Healthcare and Workplace Violence

When Healthcare Professionals Are the Abused

When Healthcare Professionals Are the Abusers

Breaking Professional Boundaries


Patient Privacy and Exploitation

Exploitation via Photography

Exploitation via Cell Phone Photos

Exploitation via Internet Improprieties

Exploitation via Medical Records Snooping

The Impact of Patient Privacy Breaches

Is Patient Privacy a Fallacy?


Abuse and Assault

How Patients Are Abused by Healthcare Providers

Who Is Abused: Victimized Patient Populations

Disabled Patients

Psychiatric Patients

Elderly Patients

Who Are the Abusers: The Victimizers





Nursing Assistants and Aides

Reporting, Regulating, and Prosecuting Abuse


Fraud and Theft

Extent and Impact of Medical Fraud

Healthcare’s Complexity Encourages Fraud Perpetrators of Fraud Individuals Organized Criminal Groups Victims of Fraud Investigations and Antifraud Programs Crime and Punishment, Deterrence and Prosecution The Future and Recommendations for Fighting Fraud Four Faces of Fraud Fraud 1: White-Coat Crime: The Medical Criminals Fraud 2: Financial Abuse of Vulnerable Populations A Word about Home Healthcare Fraud 3: Medical Identity Theft Fraud 4: Substance Abuse and Drug Diversion Physicians Nurses Substitution Forgery Partial Administration References

Suspicious Death and Homicide

Healthcare Serial Killers: An Overview

The Medical Murder Hall of Shame


Harold Shipman

Michael Swango


Beverly Allitt

Richard Angelo

Charles Cullen

Robert Diaz

Vickie Dawn Jackson

Kristen Gilbert

Gwendolyn Graham and Catherine Wood

Genene Jones

Orville Lynn Majors

Filipina Narciso and Leonora Perez

Terri Rachals

Mary Rose Robaczynski

Kimberly Saenz

Richard Williams

Allied Healthcare Providers

Donald Harvey

Efren Saldivar

The Mechanics of Medical Murder

The Victims: Why They Are Marked for Murder

The Methods of Their Madness: How They Kill

The Methods of Their Madness: When They Kill

The Methods of Their Madness: Where They Kill

The Methods of Their Madness: Why They Kill

Factitious Disorders and Healthcare Professionals

Detection of Medical Murder: Suspicious Deaths and Mortality Patterns

The Importance of the Index of Suspicion

Red Flags Associated with Medical Murder


Investigations, Sanctions, and Discipline

Healthcare Crime Investigations in the Digital Age

Obstacles to Investigations

Prosecution of Medical Malfeasance: Moving from Criminal to Civil

Evasion of Detection by Health Professionals

Elder Justice Act

Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act

Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act

Discipline of Problematic Healthcare Professionals

Physician Discipline

Nurse Discipline

The Role of the Medical Boards

Sanctions and Legal Action

The Role of Healthcare Security

The Role of Healthcare Human Resources

What Is Happening with Medical Murder Now?


Prevention Strategies and the Future of Healthcare Crime

Strategy 1: Admit Healthcare System Failures

Strategy 2: Address the Shortcomings in the Healthcare System

Strategy 3: Investigate Problems in Healthcare Working Conditions

Strategy 4: Establish Accountability

Pressure from Within for Accountability

Pressure from Outside for Accountability

Strategy 5: Embrace Quality Improvement

Strategy 6: Reduce Risk for Intentional Harm

Strategy 7: Educate Healthcare Providers

Strategy 8: Address Healthcare Professionals’ Stressors Strategy 9: Legislate Change Strategy 10: Address Major Anomalies Strategy 11: Remove Barriers to Reform Strategy 12: Create New Opportunities for Dialogue References Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
LAW / Medical Law & Legislation