Dover – A former Dover area Psychiatrist charged with defrauding the Delaware Medicaid Program of nearly $175,000 received a jail sentence today after pleading guilty to her crimes, Attorney General Beau Biden announced.
“The abuse of prescription drugs is a growing epidemic threatening public health and safety and devastating our families. Prescription abuse in the Medicaid program also increases costs for all who rely on it for their healthcare needs,” Attorney General Biden said. “With this case we’re sending a clear message that we’re committed to going after those who improperly prescribe addictive drugs and that we’re committed to cutting waste and fraud to protect this valuable program for all Delawareans.”
Yvette K. Baker, age 53, was charged in July, 2011 by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with multiple felony counts of healthcare fraud for the improper billing of the Medicaid Program and prescription drug diversion. The charges, which stem from an investigation initiated by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in 2010 after receiving a referral of billing improprieties from the State’s Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance, cover Baker’s conduct at the Psychiatric Wellness Center in Dover from July, 2006 through July, 2009.
Baker was arrested in October, 2011 in Huntsville, Alabama where she resided at the time and was extradited to Delaware in January, 2012. She has been held at the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution since her return to Delaware.
Baker pled guilty this morning in Kent County Superior Court to four felony charges of healthcare fraud and two misdemeanor charges of false representation and making a false statement. The healthcare fraud charges relate to Baker prescribing opiate painkillers, paid for by the Medicaid Program, that were not medically necessary and to the improper billing of Medicaid for services that were either not provided or where medical records did not exist to prove that services had been provided. The false statement and false representation charges relate to her failure to disclose that she was prohibited from participating in the Medicaid program when she applied for a Delaware medical license and her subsequent billing of the Medicaid program when she knew that she was not eligible to participate as a Medicaid provider.
Following Baker’s guilty plea she was immediately sentenced by Judge William L. Witham, Jr. to one year in prison, followed by seven years of probation. Additionally, she was ordered to pay $273,000 in damages and fines, including $172000 to the Delaware Medicaid Program, $100,000 in fines, and $1,750 for the cost of extradition. Baker’s license to prescribe drugs was suspended in April, 2010, and her Delaware medical license was suspended in July, 2010.
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