JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - John Christopher Walcutt, 40, of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty to falsifying patient progress notes of children with autism and other behavioral health issues, in response to a federal audit.
According to the plea agreement, Walcutt was the former managing member of Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics, a developmental center, where children with developmental, learning and behavioral issues apparently received counseling and therapy. In late 2011, Keystone received an audit request from the government for randomly selected patient files.
In submitting claims for reimbursement from TRICARE, which is a health care program for military personnel, Keystone certified that some of its pediatric patients had received “one on one” counseling and therapy.
Some of the patients were also represented to have received therapy for autism from licensed and credentialed providers. In reality, many of the patients had not received “one on one” counseling or therapy from licensed and credentialed providers and, in some cases, had been left unsupervised in a small “play pen” area. Only some of the children had received therapy in a group setting. In most cases, non-credentialed employees, including graduate students, were treating the children.
Walcutt and others participated in the altering of patient files that were sent in response to the government’s audit request. As a result of the falsified patient records, TRICARE paid Keystone approximately $600,000 for claims that otherwise would not have been reimbursable.
Walcutt faces a maximum term of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
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