Rutledge announces charges against highest billers within Mental Health Practitioner Program

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 91 views 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Thursday (Nov. 19) said that a five-month investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) has culminated in more than two dozen felony charges against the two highest billers in the Arkansas Medical Licensed Mental Health Practitioner Program.

Over the past three years, Al Dodds, 55, of Camden and Joseph Brannon Randolph, 41, of Elkins have billed the Medicaid program $1.3 million, Rutledge said in a press release.

Authorities filed a felony information document Thursday in Pulaski County Circuit Court charging Dodds with 12 felony counts including four Class B felony counts of Medicaid fraud, three Class C felony counts of Medicaid fraud and one Class D felony count of failure to maintain records.

The charges stem from false claims totaling $259,000 on six clients, Rutledge said, noting the MFCU had previously arrested Dodds on one charge of Medicaid fraud in July.

During the investigation of Dodds, investigators with the MFCU observed an irregular billing pattern by Randolph. On Nov. 18, Randolph was arrested by special agents with the Attorney General’s office on warrants for 11 Class B felony counts of Medicaid fraud and one Class D felony count of failure to maintain records.

Randolph is suspected of fraudulently billing the State Medicaid system $321,820 for services on 10 recipients and failure to maintain records properly on an additional $112,852, Rutledge said.

Dodds and Randolph are both Licensed Professional Counselors who provide services as part of the Arkansas Medical Licensed Mental Health Practitioner Program.

The program is designed to provide counseling for individuals who are suffering from psychiatric conditions and are under age 21.

Since 2012, Dodds was the highest billing provider in the program and has billed the Medicaid system a total of $715,317. Randolph is the second highest billing provider, billing Medicaid $584,683, during the same time period.

The Attorney General’s office was assisted in its investigation by the Office of Medicaid Inspector General.