Not only is June’s licensed professional discipline list from the Florida Department of Health lighter than usual in South Florida representation — a nursing assistant, physician assistant, a licensed practical nurse — but only one owns a criminal conviction.
That’s the nursing assistant, first alphabetically in the list.
▪ Norma Casanova, nursing assistant, Hialeah and Miami Lakes: Casanova got hit with an Emergency Suspension Order on June 22 of her nursing assistant certification after her Feb. 15 guilty plea to receiving kickbacks in connection with a federal health care benefit program.
As owner and operator of four eponymous assisted living facilities, Casanova took monthly kickbacks for four years from Florida Pharmacy owner Maria Serrano from 2011 to 2015. Serrano’s $675 per month got her 27 Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries who lived in Casanova’s ALFs steered to her as customers for their prescription medications and durable medical equipment.
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The numbers signed to by both the government and Casanova: Serrano’s $37,175 worth of bribes earned her $72,900 of business. Casanova’s sentence, handed down May 3, was a year and a day in federal prison and $37,125 in restitution.
▪ Carla Revilla, Physician Assistant, Fort Lauderdale: Revilla’s alcohol abuse struggles forced the Department of Health to issue an Emergency Restriction Order on June 20 until a Professional Resource Network “or a PRN-approved evaluator informs the Department that she is able to practice as a physician assistant with reasonable skill and safety to patients.”
PRN is the Department of Health’s contracted consultant arm for dealing with healthcare workers who have substance abuse problems.
▪ Terri Lynette Rhodes, Licensed Practical Nurse, Lauderhill: After treatment for substance abuse and while under a five-year monitoring contract since 2015, Rhodes tested positive for cocaine earlier this year — twice. She admitted to a doctor on March 31 that she’d been filling her Percocet prescription and giving it to her son “because he needs it and has no insurance.”
The Department of Health called both acts “poor judgment” and, taking into account related depression and anxiety problems, issued an ERO on June 22.