Psychologist Billing for Sexual Assault is Crazy
I don’t even know where to begin here. I couldn’t even settle on an appropriate title. There are just so many directions this article can go. I am befuddled and bamboozled.
A psychologist in the state of Maine has pled guilty to one count of Class B theft by deception and one count of Class C gross sexual assault for engaging in sexual acts with a client, and then billing MaineCare for mental health therapy services for that very same client. John A. Keefe, 60, was sentenced on each count to three years imprisonment with all but 120 days suspended and two years of probation, to be served concurrently. He was also required to pay $14,806.52 restitution to MaineCare.
It seems Keefe engaged in sexual acts with a female client while claiming to provide mental health therapy for her. (Yes, but how does that make you feel?) Some of the sexual acts occurred in Keefe’s office at Columbia Psychology Associates in Bangor during mental health therapy sessions that he billed to MaineCare.
Bangor? Really? He had to be in Bangor? Does anyone realize where my overactive imagination wants to take this article now? I could have made the title “Bogus Bangor Billing Boy” or “Bangor and Bill Her”. I could have done that, but I didn’t.
Sexual assault is not supposed to be funny.
I am not aware if these assaults were forcible, and she might have believed she was a consenting partner. In many states, however, sexual relations with patients receiving mental care is considered assault, as the professional is in a unique position over the person in need of treatment (no pun intended). It violates the Code of Ethics of all major mental health organizations.
I am not even sure those organizations thought to address the concept of billing for it. May need to revise those standards a bit.
Indeed, Maine Attorney General William J. Schneider says, “Medical professionals in Maine are held to high ethical standards and conduct that exploits patients is a breach of trust. Committing sexual assault of a patient is not only immoral; it is illegal and punishable by jail time.”
So he was having sex and billing Maine’s version of Medicaid for his time and services. You could say it sounds like the taxpayers were the ones getting screwed. I would respond of course with, “Yes, and how does that make you feel?”
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