Former Ketchikan nurse practitioner, 61-year-old Eileen Small, was sentenced on Friday to one year in prison and five years probation for felony medical assistance fraud and misconduct involving a controlled substance. Small has already completed 80 hours of community work service as part of her sentence. If she violates the terms of her probation, she could be required to serve up to 30 additional months in prison.
Also sentenced Friday was her former husband, 64-year-old Herbert Small, convicted of misdemeanor medical assistance fraud. His sentence was suspended, but he remains on probation for three years, and could be sent to jail for up to six months if he violates his probation.
The two will also be required to pay over $8000 in restitution.
The convictions stem from an investigation by the Alaska Medicaid Fraud Control Unit that began in 2009. Eileen Small had been licensed by the State of Alaska as an advanced nurse practitioner, and was the owner of “A Woman’s Place,” where she worked as a nurse midwife. Herbert Small worked part time at the clinic and assisted with billing.
The Board of Nursing suspended Eileen Small’s advanced nurse practitioner license in July 2009. After receiving notice of the suspension, she continued to treat patients and write prescriptions. Herbert Small submitted claims for reimbursement for the illegal treatment of those patients.
The sentences were handed down Friday by Ketchikan Superior Court Judge William Carey. Carey commented that Small had no right to continue treating patients and writing prescriptions. He hoped the sentence would deter others from similar crimes.