Mental health counselor faces sanctions for Medicaid fraud

By: - April 8, 2022 10:20 am

A northern Iowa mental health counselor twice convicted of tampering with records is facing new licensing sanctions from the state. (Photo illustration by Iowa Capital Dispatch)

A northern Iowa mental health counselor twice convicted of tampering with records is facing new licensing sanctions for submitting fraudulent billing statements to Medicaid.

The Iowa Board of Behavioral Science has charged mental health counselor Jill Coleman of Creston with being convicted of an offense that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the profession.

According to court records, Coleman was charged in late 2020 with felony fraudulent practices, felony identity theft and misdemeanor tampering with records.

Wright County prosecutors alleged that between 2018 and 2019 Coleman created 49 psychiatric diagnostic records that falsely indicated counseling services had been provided to an individual by another practitioner. Coleman then submitted the records to Medicaid along with billing statements to secure reimbursement for those services. The bills were allegedly submitted in the name of another practitioner due to restrictions that had previously been placed on Coleman’s ability to bill Medicaid for services.

Late last year, prosecutors dismissed the two felony charges and Coleman pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of tampering with records. She agreed to pay a fine of $855 and serve one year of probation. The court also ordered Coleman to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at some future date.

According to the Board of Behavioral Science, this is not the first time Coleman has been accused of such an offense. In 2016, the board says, she was convicted of tampering with records related to the profession and received a deferred a judgment from the court. Because of that judgment, the case was expunged from publicly available court records, so the details of the 2017 case are not known.

As a result of that 2016 conviction, the board placed Coleman’s license on probation for two years.

State records indicate Coleman served as the director of Coleman Counseling in Eagle Grove before the company was dissolved in 2020.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing.