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Third lawsuit filed against Arkansas psychiatrist

Northwest Arkansas Psychiatrist Dr. Brian Hyatt has had another false imprisonment lawsuit filed against him, all while he is being investigated for Medicaid fraud.

SPRINGDALE, Ark — A Northwest Arkansas psychiatrist has another false imprisonment lawsuit filed against him all while he is being investigated for Medicaid fraud.

Psychiatrist Dr. Brian Hyatt now faces three civil lawsuits with allegations stemming from his time as medical director of the behavioral unit at Northwest Medical Center in Springdale. 5NEWS told you about the first false imprisonment lawsuit earlier in March.

The latest lawsuit was filed Friday, March 24 on behalf of a former patient at the Northwest Medical Center Behavioral Health Unit. It claims the man was held at the unit against his will in March 2022.

The patient was voluntarily admitted and says he never received care or treatment other than a five-minute evaluation each morning by a provider who was not a doctor. The patient claims his insurance was fraudulently billed for the highest level of care. According to the lawsuit, a court order was issued after staff refused to let the man leave and a Washington County deputy went to the unit with the patient’s husband, and according to the lawsuit, the staff finally released him. The lawsuit claims false imprisonment, assault, battery, and medical malpractice.

Hyatt’s contract with Northwest Health was terminated by the hospital in May of 2022. Earlier this month, Northwest told 5NEWS they took a number of actions to ensure patients’ safety including hiring new providers for the behavioral health unit.

Dr. Hyatt sent an email to the state medical board saying he would like to step aside from his role as chairman of the board but stay on as a voting member.

The Office of Medical Inspector General let Hyatt know at the end of February that he was being investigated for Medicaid fraud and that he could no longer bill to Medicaid.

We reached out to Hyatt's private practice in Rogers, as well as his attorney, but have not heard back from either.

No action has been taken by the Arkansas State Medical Board. The board’s next meeting is on April 13th.

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