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Alleged Healthcare Consulting Huckster Released on Bond in California

By John Commins  
   May 25, 2018

A review of Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors records found that "Sonja Robinson, RN," doing business as "Healthcare Solutions USA," was unanimously awarded annual contracts worth $384,000 each year from 2016 through 2018 "to provide consultation on utilization review, authorization and referral processes for the Contra Costa Health Plan." 

Contra Costa Health Plan said Robinson was paid about $960,000 since January, 2016. A spokesperson said the health plan "first learned about the allegations against Sonja Robinson on May 22, 2018, and took immediate steps on that day to prevent her from providing further services to the department. Ms. Robinson's contract was terminated effective May 25, 2018, and she has not provided service to CCHP since May 22."

CCHP said Robinson was hired through a national healthcare consulting firm, and was contracted to provide services in the Utilization Management Unit, where she performed administrative duties and did not provide direct patient care.

Sonja Emery: Detention Hearing Appeal by HLMedit on Scribd

Court records indicate Contra Costa is at least the eighth employer Emery has duped.

"The jobs that Emery has repeatedly sought also raise substantial concerns about Emery's ongoing danger to the community," prosecutors said, noting that Emery successfully obtained jobs with titles such as director of medical services and interim Chief Clinical Operations Improvement Officer.

"The government does not presently have evidence that anyone was physically harmed as a byproduct of Emery taking these positions. Nonetheless, if Emery were to flee, consistent with her prior pattern of criminal activity, she likely would attempt to obtain another health-care related position, which could endanger patient welfare and pose a danger to the community," prosecutors said.

Michigan Indictment

The Michigan indictment, unsealed this week, said that Emery allegedly told clients and employers that she was a registered nurse, had worked in healthcare management and consultation for 25 years, and held degrees including a bachelor of science in nursing, master's degrees in health administration, and a doctor of philosophy degree—none of which was true.

She allegedly provided employers and clients with extensive false or forged documents and references validating her fabricated background.

Emery used fake Social Security numbers, misstated her tax liabilities, filed bogus W4 forms with the IRS, and lied about her tax status in a multi-year effort to shake federal auditors, according to the indictment.

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders.

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