Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Physician charged with Medicaid fraud

Prosecutors say he over-billed agency

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

LEBANON - A Lebanon physician has been indicted on a felony charge of Medicaid fraud after an investigation of his billing practices.

Dr. Kyle Howard, 58, is expected to be arraigned within three weeks, Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said. Howard faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, if convicted.

Prosecutors also will seek $142,000 in restitution from Howard, Hutzel said.

The indictment, which was handed up Friday and released Monday, was the result of a two-year investigation by local, state and investigators from the U.S. Attorney's office, Hutzel said.

Investigators became suspicious of Howard's billing practices after learning that he usually treated 40 to 70 patients daily during his office hours, according to an affidavit filed with the court, Hutzel said.

"He claimed to Medicaid that he was spending a lot more time with his patients than he was really spending," Hutzel said. "Therefore, Medcaid reimbursed him ... a lot more money than he was entitled to."

Howard could not be reached at either his office or home listings Monday.


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