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Press Release

Indictment of Nurse Practitioner for Prescription Opioid Diversion-Related Death

March 10, 2020

(Anchorage, AK) – On Friday, March 6, 2020, a State grand jury indicted Anchorage nurse practitioner, Kris Kile, and co-defendant Kathryn Herman, with manslaughter in charges stemming from the March 2015 fatal overdose of a 22-year old Anchorage woman, Courtney Jones. Kile is alleged to have prescribed opioids to Herman -- a woman she should have known was engaged in pill diversion. Herman, in turn sold opioids to Jones, who within 90 minutes died of an overdose.

The indictment also charges Kile with felony drug distribution based on prescriptions she wrote to patients from 2016 through 2018. Alaska felony drug distribution statutes exempt legitimate medical practice – provided medical professionals comply with regulations and statutes. When a medical professional’s prescriptions fail to comply with these requirements, the distribution is illegal and constitutes a felony drug offense.

An investigation led to allegations of over-medication and lack of documented diagnoses as basis for prescription increases, as well as critical omissions from formal patient records and history charts. It is alleged that Kile would issue prescriptions based on Facebook messages, without office visits or formal pain assessments. A detailed discussion of the case is found in the attached bail memorandum.

Kile was arrested March 9, 2020 and is in custody pending arraignment in state superior court, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The court issued an arrest warrant for Herman, who is believed to be residing outside Alaska. The charges in the indictment are only allegations and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the result of a complex, years long investigation coordinated by the Alaska State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Federal and State investigative agencies - along with the Alaska Health Care Fraud Task Force, a partnership of local, state, federal and private agencies -- contributed to the success of this case. Complaints, tips, and information related to health care fraud or patient abuse may be reported online at tips.fbi.gov or by calling the FBI Anchorage Field Office at 907-276-4441.

Point of contact for further information is James Fayette, Director, Alaska Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, (907) 269-6279.

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Department Media Contact: Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-5285 or maria.bahr@alaska.gov.