A former Perry Hospital technician in Georgia was sentenced up to six months in prison on April 15th earlier this month after pleading guilty to falsifying approximately 1,300 mammogram records over the course of an 18-month period.
Rachael Rapraeger had been logging into the computer system to sign off on the reports under a doctor's name for well over a year before she was finally caught. A patient who had originally received a negative report at the hospital had a second check up at a different one three months later in April 2010. That report came back positive, and the patient contacted the hospital Rapraeger worked at over the issue.
The hospital went into the record system to determine which doctor had signed off of the report. After reviewing which doctor it was, the hospital found the doctor who signed off on the mammogram report was not even on duty that day. This eventually led Rapraeger to confess to her superiors about what she had been doing. A week later she was fired from the hospital.
The reasons she claimed for deliberately falsifying records was that she was behind on work. She was not able to catch up on it, and in turn began to stop caring about her job. She would then log into the system as a physician to clear patients. This eliminated the need to do extra paper work if a test result came back positive.
As a result, ten patients that were given a clean bill of health found out they actually had breast cancer later on. According to a report on CNN, two of those patients ended up dying from breast cancer.
Miriam Mizell ended up dying at the age of 63 after learning she actually did have cancer. The way she found out was almost as bizarre as the case itself. Instead of contacting her directly to let her know that she had breast cancer after learning of the misconduct; the hospital called her to inform her she had been selected for a free breast exam according to local news channel WMAZ.
"They did ultimately find something on my right breast," she said.
She said she wanted to ask Rapraeger: "How dare you do this to me?
Rachael Rapraeger will spend up to six months in jail with ten years of probation, and be subject to paying a $12,500 fine. She is currently out on a $50,000 bail until the court can find a suitable place for her to start serving her sentence.
"You played Russian roulette with the lives of essentially a thousand women in this community," Houston County Superior Judge Katherine Lumsden told the 33-year-old Macon woman during sentencing on Tuesday April 15th.