FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Northwest Arkansas psychiatrist that is under investigation after allegations of fraud has appealed the suspension of his Medicaid billing privileges.
Dr. Brian T. Hyatt of Rogers was informed by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) on February 24 that those privileges were suspended pending an investigation into the fraud allegations. On March 1, his attorney, Gabriel D. Mallard, wrote a letter to the Arkansas Department of Human Services on behalf of his client, stating that the doctor and his practice, Pinnacle Premiere Psychiatry (PPP), “vigorously contest that any credible allegation of fraud exists.”
The letter stated that the inspector general’s office was required to “set forth the general allegations as to the nature of the suspension action” within its notice to Hyatt.
“Though OMIG has noted a credible allegation of fraud as the basis for suspension, there are no general allegations as to how or what fraud was alleged to be committed,” the letter stated. “Upon receipt of the specific bases of the credible allegation of fraud, Hyatt and PPP can properly respond as to why the suspension is not supported.”
The letter continued by citing three specific categories of credible fraud allegations pursuant to Arkansas law. They included fraud hotline tips “verified by further evidence,” claims data mining, and “patterns identified through provider audits, civil false claims cases, and law enforcement investigations.”
Hyatt’s appeal letter also claims that “additional information has been provided to a news outlet related to Hyatt and PPP that may not have been disclosed to Hyatt or PPP.”
“Hyatt and PPP have not received any information from OMIG identifying any specifics of the allegations of fraud; however, Hyatt and PPP affirmatively state that there has not been an effort to intentionally deceive or misrepresent any services provided to a Medicaid recipient.”
Gabriel D. Mallard, letter to Arkansas Department of Human Services, March 1
Mallard asked for the items upon which OMIG based its suspension decision as well as “consideration of an expedited hearing schedule.”
The letter noted that Hyatt is a “well-respected psychiatrist that has served Arkansas for more than 15 years.” It added that he “is currently the Chairman of the Arkansas State Medical Board and is very serious and committed to his duties to the profession of medicine and the public at large.”
On the same date written on that letter, Hyatt sent a message to the Arkansas State Medical Board in which he voiced his desire to “step aside as Chairman.”
“This is only out of respect for the board’s mission and ensuring good care for Arkansans,” he told the Board.