Newtown Psychologist Charged in Scheme to Defraud Medicaid
Authorities tipped off by a former employee today arrested a Newtown psychologist on charges that she bilked the Medicaid program out of thousands of dollars for services she never performed.
JEANNIE PASACRETA, age 61, of Abbey Lane, Newtown, was arrested by Inspectors from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and charged with one count each of Larceny in the First Degree By Defrauding A Public Community, Health Insurance Fraud and Identity Theft in the First Degree.
The investigation was initiated by a complaint to the state Attorney General’s Office from a former employee of Pasacreta’s Integrated Mental Health Services practice that the doctor received “very large” payments from Medicaid even though she “barely works” and was “constantly canceling” appointments with patients.
Subsequent investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found that over a two-year period beginning in 2016, Pasacreta billed Medicaid for hundreds of claims for services that were never rendered. Medicaid is a government program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Pasacreta misused patients’ personal information to bill for appointments on dates when the patients were out of the state or out of the country. The fraudulent claims involved 15 patients and totaled $79,418.77, the warrant states.
Pasacreta, a licensed psychologist and advanced practice registered nurse, is the owner of Integrated Mental Health Services. The practice operates out of her Newtown home and offers counseling to patients with mental, behavioral and emotional disorders.
Pasacreta was released on $150,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Hartford Superior Court, Part A, on October 3, 2018. The charges are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Larceny in the First Degree By Defrauding A Public Community and Identity Theft in the First Degree are class B felonies each punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Health Insurance Fraud is an unclassified felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
The case will prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which is grateful for the assistance it received in this investigation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the state Department of Social Services Office of Quality Assurance, Attorney General’s Office and the Rocky Hill Police Department.