A woman has been arrested in Florida after an investigation by the Medicaid Fraud branch of the Florida Attorney General’s office showed she had falsely claimed to be a nurse.
First Coast News reports that Amy Suzanne Pohlman, 48, has been charged with two counts of practicing as a health care professional without a license.
Pohlman began working at Ponte Vedra Home Care in October 2015, and claimed that she was an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) who also had a PhD. In June 2016, officials at her nursing company had difficulty determining whether Pohlman’s nursing license was still valid, and they grew suspicious when they could not find her license in any Department of Health records.
When the company began to question Pohlman about her credentials, she promptly resigned her position. But this only heightened suspicions, and the investigation was turned over to detectives with the St. Johns County Sherriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit and the medical investigator from the Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud unit.
Soon, the investigators discovered that Pohlman had never obtained the degrees and certifications she claimed to have, and that she went to great lengths to deceive her former employers. Not only had Pohlman created a fake ARNP license, but she had also never earned a PhD, or any nursing degree, for that matter. Even a plaque found in Pohlman’s office from the Trustees of the Mayo Clinic: Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center was a fraud: investigators found that Pohlman had paid to have the plaque made at a local trophy shop to support her intricate ruse.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that while Pohlman held her position as a nurse administrator at Ponte Vedra Home Care, she was responsible for writing care plans and visiting clients. She was then appointed an independent care manager.
In addition to two counts of practicing without a license, Pohlman has also been charged with conducting a physical exam on an applicant at Ponte Vedra Home Care, and further charges may be filed once all investigations into her misconduct are completed. She is being held at St. Johns County Jail on $50,000 bond, and any people who have worked with her professionally are encouraged to contact the county SVU office.
For patients who were “treated” by Pohlman and their loved ones, it is likely that multiple questions arise with the news of her arrest. How did she get hired in the first place? Is this an example of malpractice? Is her employer also accountable? If you require more information on this situation or another possible example of medical malpractice or healthcare fraud, we encourage you to contact our attorneys in Florida. We will be happy to help you get answers and pursue justice during a free legal consultation.