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Medicaid Fraud Charges Formally Filed Against Brian Hyatt

2 min read

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin on Wednesday announced that two counts of Medicaid fraud had been formally filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Dr. Brian Hyatt, the former chair of the state Medical Board.

Hyatt, 51, who owns Pinnacle Premier Psychiatry of Rogers, was arrested in the case last month and released on $15,000 bond after he surrendered his passport and signed an extradition waiver.

The Class A felony counts stem from more than $300,000 in fraudulent Medicaid claims that Hyatt allegedly filed between Jan. 1 and April 29, 2022, when he worked at the Northwest Medical Center-Springdale Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit. Hyatt is accused of billing for Medicaid patients he didn’t see or had spent little time with.

Mary Bowen, an investigator for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with the Arkansas attorney general’s office, said in a court affidavit that hundreds of hours of surveillance video from the hospital show that Hyatt never had direct contact with any patient there and never entered any patient’s room.

Bowen wrote that Hyatt “takes a computer cart and walks from one end of the hall to the other.” She wrote, “Sometimes he pauses at the rooms and may even look in, but he does not enter the room or have patients come out into the hall.”

In a statement from his lawyers to Arkansas Business in May, Hyatt denied any wrongdoing related to Medicaid billing.

Class A felonies are punishable by six to 30 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

The charges come as Hyatt faces multiple lawsuits by former patients, who allege that he kept them against their will in the inpatient behavioral health unit.

Hyatt is also under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Neither of the federal entities had filed charges as of Wednesday.

Hyatt had served on the Medical Board since 2019. He resigned in March after two months as chair.

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