We’d like to make an argument on behalf of everyone who battles with mental health issues. Mental illnesses require as much attention as our physical illnesses. We’d argue that no one is immune to battling mental health issues much the same way no one is immune to battling physical ailments. We’ve all suffered from cold and coughs. These are considered minor issues, but they impact our overall health nonetheless.
When we’re experiencing bouts of depression, sorrow and anger, they shouldn’t be ignored. We could all use some help now and again to overcome our negative feelings. The old “stick and stones” adage wasn’t completely accurate. Words can hurt. And the truth is that words can also heal. This is why America’s psychologists deserve a greater ovation for the work they do to better the mental and emotional statuses of people all over our country.
Unfortunately, not all psychologists are created equal.
Dr. John R. Sink Jr. of Cheyenne, Wyoming proved that earlier this week. Yesterday, LocalNews8.com, reported that he and his wife, Diane M. Sink pleaded guilty to making false statements to Wyoming Medicaid. Sadly, it appears as if the couple placed their own financial gain ahead of the concerns of their patients. They fraudulently billed Medicaid for mental health services at their Cheyenne practice. The Sinks are scheduled for sentencing on December 4th.
As the report details, court documents revealed that between February 2012 and December 2016, the Sinks submitted over $6.2 million in bills for alleged group therapy. The services listed in their billings consisted of activities that did not qualify as group therapy under Medicaid rules. The Sinks did this intentionally, says the U.S. Attorney’s office.
In addition, “the hours billed did not accurately report the time each Medicaid beneficiary was actively participating in any activities, and the Sinks were not using up-to-date treatment plans to guide each Medicaid beneficiaries treatment as required by Wyoming Medicaid,” reports LocalNews8.com, “The pleading also shows the couple falsely back-dated treatment plans during a May 2016 audit.”
Dr. and Mrs. Sink encouraged their clients to conceal their fraudulent billing scheme.
As expected, these actions were not met favorably by the U.S. Attorney’s office. “Health care fraud is a serious crime that harms all of us through higher taxes and insurance premiums,” U.S. Attorney Mark A. Klaassen is quoted as saying in the report, “The Sinks’ guilty pleas show that the United States government will investigate, prosecute, and punish the criminals who attempt to defraud our health care system.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Denver Regional Office, Special Agent in Charge, Calvin Shivers had this to say: “Today’s guilty pleas send a strong message to anyone considering engaging in health care fraud. The FBI will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wyoming to hold individuals who commit health care fraud, at the expense of the U.S. government and hardworking taxpayers, accountable for their actions.”
Are you an attorney who is currently trying a health care fraud case?
Please don’t hesitate to contact Allegiant Experts to find out how our clinical expertise may help you. Call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.