PITTSBURGH — A woman who formerly headed a suburban Pittsburgh hospice will spend 15 months in federal prison for using patients who weren’t terminally ill to collect millions of dollars in false Medicare and Medicaid claims.

Former Horizons Hospice chief operating officer Mary Ann Stewart pleaded guilty in June. She apologized Monday and said she got into the business after her parents’ prolonged deaths.

But a federal judge in Pittsburgh noted she kept up the fraud even after she was caught, and had subordinates help her in the scheme. She earned more than $300,000 annually at the time.

The 49-year-old Carrolltown woman must also spend two years on probation and repay $175,000.

Prosecutors say the scheme at the Monroeville facility cost the government millions of dollars from January 2008 through August 2012.