Hospital tech gets prison time for falsely entering mammo results

A former hospital technician in Georgia has been sentenced to up to six months in prison for falsely entering negative results for mammograms.

Rachael Rapraeger was accused of entering negative results for 1,289 mammograms performed at Perry Hospital in Perry, Ga., from January 2009, to April 2012 that were never read by a radiologist. Ten of the exams were actually positive, according to prosecutors.

Rapraeger pleaded guilty in Houston County (Ga.) Superior Court to 10 counts of misdemeanor reckless conduct and one felony count that involved a case of a women who later died.

Houston County Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney Dan Bibler said Rapraeger told Perry police that personal issues had caused her to become "disinterested" in her work and that she had fallen behind and entered the negative results to catch up, according to the Macon Telegraph.

"She wasn't in a conspiracy with any radiologist to try to cut corners, but she was overwhelmed," Rapraeger's attorney, Floyd Buford said. "She had too much work, and she was getting behind. She wanted to keep up. So the hospital, our position is, didn't give her any assistance, didn't give her any support there, and she just felt like to keep up she had to start faking some of these reports because she was so worried she couldn't keep up."

Under her sentence, Rapraeger cannot work in the healthcare profession while under probation. She must serve about nine years and six months on probation once released from a probation-detention facility.

During the sentencing hearing, Sharon Holmes--to whom Rapraeger gave a false mammogram result and later found out she had breast cancer--told Rapraeger she "could have made a different decision and my family and I would not be living this nightmare."

Holmes later told television station WMAZ she wasn't satisfied with the sentence. "If I'm living a sentence of having cancer then you should live a sentence behind bars," she said.

To learn more:
- read the article in the Macon Telegraph
- see the report from WMAZ