Around the nation: Hospital director gets nine years in prison for fraud charges

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Illinois: A judge on Friday sentenced the former executive director of HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital to nine years in prison for defrauding her former employer of $700,000 between December 2008 and September 2014. Margaret Curtin pleaded guilty to all 11 charges brought against her, but asked for leniency. However, evidence that she may have also defrauded her previous employer, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, persuaded the judge she deserved a tough sentence. "You got a second chance, and you blew it," Circuit Judge John Schmidt said (Olsen, State Journal-Register, 8/14; Ellison, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/17).

  • Kentucky: Louisville-based Signature Healthcare—which operates skilled nursing facilities and critical access hospitals, and other providers—plans to enter the insurance business. Signature will start enrolling members of its provider-sponsored organization who live in its nursing centers in October, and CEO Joe Steier hopes to have as many as 1,000 beneficiaries covered by next year. It will sell plans through Kentucky's exchange, and intends to expand to sell plans in Florida and Indiana in future years (Mann, Louisville Business First, 8/18).

  • Maryland: A well-known local "Batman," who visited hundreds of sick children in costume at local hospitals, was tragically killed Sunday night in a car accident. Lenny Robinson was run over when he stepped out of his custom-made car (designed to look like the Batmobile) to check the engine on the highway. A retired businessman, Robinson worked with Washington, D.C.-based Hope for Henry to assist with its superhero parties in hospitals. "When I asked him to do anything, he always said yes," recalled Hope for Henry co-founder Laurie Strongin. "He was magic," she said (Woodrow Cox/Rosenwald, Washington Post, 8/18).

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