Disgraced former guardian now investigated for overcharging hospital and clients

An audit released by the Orange County Comptroller Thursday has left more questions about the actions of former Orlando guardian Rebecca Fierle.

The 23 page report audited about $4 million in payments made by Advent Health to Fierle during her work as a guardian -- a professional hired to care for and make important medical decisions for vulnerable people and the elderly.

Comptroller Phil Diamond’s report showed that Fierle didn’t report about $2.5 million in payments to the courts, which guardians are required to do, according to Diamond.

Additionally, Diamond said Fierle was essentially ‘double charging’ on a number of occasions by billing Advent Heath and her wards for the same hours worked.

"She got 3 times what she should have gotten otherwise,” said Diamond.

Fierle first got investigators’ attention after a ward, 75 year-old Steven Stryker, died and family members said he did not authorize the Do Not Resuscitate Order Fierle allegedly placed on him.

After that, auditors across the state expressed concern about more unauthorized DNRs and a judge intervened.

Just last month her name again popped up after a State Attorney General’s raid on her Orlando office found cremated remains inside.

The Comptroller also expressed concern that more unauthorized Do Not Resuscitate Orders may still be out there, and family members of her wards should look into the matter.

Fierle, at last check was not charged with any actual crimes but was under investigation by state law enforcement. Diamond said he has also forwarded his report to state law enforcement.

Attempts to get comment from Fierle and her attorney were not answered Thursday.

Advent Health did issue a statement about the audit though. Spokesman Bryan Malenius wrote:

“We are both surprised and dismayed with the Orange County Comptroller’s findings that a professional guardian withheld information from the court and improperly billed the hospital and the court for resources to care for the most vulnerable in our community.

The report from the Orange County Comptroller’s office clearly highlights the importance of the state taking action. We are committed to lending our voice to reforming the guardianship system because it is core to our mission to ensure those who need this kind of help are cared for and protected.”