Medicaid Fraud Argued Before
7th Circuit Court of Appeals


MIA blogger (and lawyer) Jim Gottstein presented a 20-minute Oral Argument in ex rel Watson v. King-Vassel in front of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago last Thursday. “The technical issue on appeal is a lawyer nerd question about whether expert testimony is required,” said Gottstein, “but I like to think it contains a succinct and clear explanation of why even though a doctor can prescribe a drug for anything, if they prescribe one off-label to a child they are causing a False Claim (committing Medicaid Fraud) unless the use has support in at least one of the specified drug references called Compendia.”

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The case is based on PsychRights’ Medicaid Fraud Initiative Against Psychiatric Drugging of Children & Youth. The briefs and a few of the trial court proceedings can be found at United States and the State of Wisconsin ex rel. Dr. Toby Watson v. Jennifer King-Vassel.


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].