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Therapist charged with Medicaid fraud

May 23, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

A Berkeley Springs, W.Va., psychotherapist who owns a Hancock practice pleaded guilty to two fraud charges in Washington County Circuit Court Tuesday.

The Maryland Attorney General's Office charged Barbara Andreadis with one count each of felony Medicaid fraud and felony insurance fraud on April 24.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors will ask the court to sentence Andreadis to 18 months in jail followed by five years of probation.

Andreadis was the director of Crossroads Behavior Therapy Center in Hancock. She is a therapist, licensed through the state Board of Social Work Examiners since July 1994, according to state records.

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Under the plea agreement filed in court this week, Andreadis agreed to pay $145,000 to the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which runs the state Medicaid program. Lawyers said in court Tuesday that she already had paid $60,000.

Andreadis also agreed to pay $17,116 to several private insurance companies.

Assistant Attorney General David Lunden said in court Tuesday that Andreadis became a Medicaid provider in April 1999, which charging documents allege is when she began defrauding insurance providers.

Lunden said information was falsified on more than 5,000 bills submitted for insurance reimbursement.

Lunden said she did not properly document therapy sessions for proper insurance reimbursement, and hired former patients.

Andreadis' lawyer, Steven B. Vinick, said in court Tuesday that Andreadis didn't knowingly commit crimes because she wasn't fully aware of rules governing Medicaid billing. He also said she never instructed employees to falsify records.

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