Arkansas physician pleads not guilty to Medicaid fraud

Brian Hyatt, MD, a psychiatrist and former head of Arkansas' state medical board, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of Medicaid fraud.

Dr. Hyatt, 51, was released on $15,000 bond, according to an Oct. 19 news release from Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin. Mr. Griffin said he plans to file formal felony charges against Dr. Hyatt. 

An affidavit filed with the arrest warrant alleged that Dr. Hyatt, who previously served as medical director of the behavioral health unit at Northwest Medical Center in Springdale, Ark., billed Medicaid for the most expensive billing codes while running the unit despite rarely being onsite at the facility. Dr. Hyatt was arrested on Oct. 9.

More than 40 patients also accused Dr. Hyatt in civil lawsuits of imprisoning them against their will while running the behavioral health unit between February 2018 and May 2022. 

The hospital terminated Dr. Hyatt's contract in May 2022. He also resigned from the state medical board the same month. 

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