Arkansas psychiatrist accused of false imprisonment

Arkansas psychiatrist accused of false imprisonment

ROGERS, Ark. (NewsNation) — Former patients of Arkansas psychiatrist Brian Hyatt are coming forward, accusing him of false imprisonment.

William VanWhy is one of 26 former patients who have filed a lawsuit against Hyatt and Northwest Medical Center, claiming false imprisonment.

“I asked to leave every day for the last three days and they would not let me leave,” VanWhy said. “You’re scared and you are under this rock of power.”

The former patient had checked himself in but had to obtain a court order to finally be released after five days.

Traveling nurse Shannon Williams, another former patient of Hyatt, claims she was also held against her will and believes they were part of a billing scheme that is being investigated by the state attorney general’s office.   

“I lost two people very close to me and found myself pretty distraught and was taken to the emergency room,” Williams said.

Along with the false imprisonment, VanWhy said Hyatt billed his insurance almost $15,000 for his hospital stay. But the most concerning part is just how often Hyatt actually saw VanWhy and Williams during their stays.

“I never saw Dr. Hyatt,” Williams said.

VanWhy also said he had never seen the doctor.

And more red flags have surfaced.

In a search warrant issued by the Arkansas State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Hyatt repeatedly charged his patients with a billing code that paid the most. 

“I found myself in a nightmare is all I can say,” Williams said.

Hyatt was the chairman of the Arkansas State Medical Board but stepped down in May. In his resignation letter, he said, “I am not resigning for any wrongdoing on my part but so that the board can continue its important work without delay or distraction.”

The hospital terminated Hyatt following the accusations and denied any malpractice.

Hyatt has also denied all allegations against him.

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