Former mental health therapist must pay $130,000 after pleading guilty to health care fraud

A former mental health therapist has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $130,000 after he pleaded guilty to health care fraud.

Randy Kirby, 61, of Hastings, operated a mental health practice called Transitions Counseling. Between September 2013 and September 2016, Kirby submitted false claims for reimbursement to Nebraska Medicaid for services that he could not show had occurred. Nebraska Medicaid paid Kirby $133,639.57 for those services. As a result, Kirby was indicted on nine counts of health care fraud. He pleaded guilty to one count in October 2018 and was sentenced Thursday.

Kirby will be on supervised release for three years following his prison term, said Joe Kelly, the U.S. attorney for Nebraska.

The matter was investigated by Nebraska Medicaid officials and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office after a referral by Medicaid contractor Magellan Behavioral Health. Magellan was concerned about suspicious billings that were submitted by Kirby, Kelly said in a press release.