Attorney General charges psychologist Medea Woods with $350K Medicaid fraud

February 17, 2011

A former local psychologist is being accused by the Indiana Attorney General of fraudulently billing Medicaid for more than $350,000 worth of services she never performed.

Medea Woods, 68, was in Jefferson County Circuit Court Wednesday for her initial appearance on single charges of Theft, Medicaid Fraud, and Identity Deception – all felonies. The charges were filed by Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

"The allegation here is that this psychologist submitted claims to Medicaid for reimbursement of certain therapy sessions where she did not see the patients, requiring taxpayers' dollars intended for patient health care to be diverted for the defendant's own purposes. The amount of money involved and other circumstances of this case are grounds for the filing of criminal charges under state law," Zoeller said.

The allegations against Woods say from 2002 to 2007 she was enrolled as a Medicaid provider offering psychological services. Woods operated Burnham Woods Counseling North, Inc. in Madison and sometimes worked from home in Rising Sun.

She now lives in Wyoming. Her license with the Indiana Psychology Board expired in 2008.

A probable cause affidavit filed with the court shows that an audit found unusually high levels of billing by Woods compared to other Medicaid mental health providers in southeast Indiana. Woods was unable to produce 15 of the 41 records auditors asked for.

Further investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found Woods allegedly billed Medicaid for multiple therapy sessions for the same patient taking place on a single day or during the same week -- more frequently than her patients reported receiving services. Woods allegedly billed multiple claims for patients she saw only once, and allegedly billed for weekend therapy sessions that either did not occur or involved activities such as riding or caring for her horses that don't qualify as psychotherapy, the affidavit said.

Woods submitted $559,715 in claims to Medicaid between April 2002 and January 2007 but the majority of the claims lacked evidence that she legitimately provided services.

The Medicaid program took an estimated hit of more than $350,000 according to the attorney general.

Woods is held in Jefferson County on a $4,000 bond. She faces two to eight years in prison on each count if convicted.

Source: "Southern Indiana psychologist charged with Medicaid fraud" press release of the Indiana Attorney General, February 16, 2011.


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