Health Law

Hospital Fined $5K for Hiring Teen Who Allegedly Impersonated a Physician Assistant

A Florida hospital has been fined $5,000 for hiring a teenager who worked for more than a week as a physician’s assistant, treating patients and even performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on one, despite a lack of qualifications to do so.

Osceola Regional Medical Center has changed its policy to avoid a repeat of the mistakes that resulted in Matthew Scheidt, then 17, being hired and given a badge that allowed him access to patients after he allegedly falsely claimed credentials as a physician assistant, WFTV reports.

Primarily, the hospital plans to check credentials more carefully; reportedly, it didn’t complete a background check on Scheidt before giving him access to patients.

Citing violation of patient confidentiality provisions, state health care authorities imposed the fine. The hospital has 30 days to pay it.

Intially released to the custody of his mother after his September arrest, Scheidt was subsequently held in the Osceola County jail after he was arrested in Miami Beach in January and charged with impersonating a police officer and carrying a concealed weapon. At that point, his bond was revoked in the hospital case, according to articles published in the Orlando Sentinel in January and in March.

Scheidt faces multiple impersonation charges in Osceola County, as well as a grand theft count apparently related to his alleged possession of a county sheriff’s department radio confiscated by Miami Beach police in January. Then 18, he was busted in the Miami Beach case in January, after a real undercover police officer pulled up next to Scheidt driving what appeared to be another unmarked police car.

At the time, authorities said, Scheidt had in his possession an Osceola County sheriff’s badge, handcuffs, a .380-caliber Ruger loaded with hollow-point bullets and a Taser X26 stun gun, among other police-related items, the Sentinel says.

The Sentinel says it has documented incidents dating back to when Scheidt was 13 in which he was accused of impersonating law enforcement officers and medical personnel.

His next court hearing is in May. Attorney Mark Longwell, who represents Scheidt, told the Sentinel in January that the teen intended to plead not guilty and seek a jury trial. “It is important that we all respect the constitutional principles of the presumption of innocence and due process,” said the lawyer in an email to the newspaper.

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