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Former Practicing Pediatrician Sentenced for Theft Related to Health Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2010

Springfield, Ill. – A pediatrician who previously practiced in Decatur, Illinois, Jamie S. Warnick, today was ordered to serve the first six months of her three-year term of probation under home confinement. Warnick, 54, previously pled guilty to theft in connection with health care. In compliance with her plea agreement, Warnick has permanently surrendered her license to practice medicine in the United States. Warnick previously was the sole physician practicing as Decatur Pediatric Clinic, at 1770 E. Lake Shore Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, Illinois. During today’s sentencing before U.S. District Judge Richard Mills, Warnick was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $63,561.89 to the Illinois Department of Public Health based on the value of the vaccine misapplied by Warnick.

During her plea hearing on May 25, 2010, and in court documents, Warnick admitted that she obtained vaccines, at no cost to her, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control through the Illinois Department of Public Health. The vaccines were meant primarily for children without health insurance and for under-insured children, whose insurance did not pay for vaccines.

Warnick admitted that on multiple occasions between 2005 and Oct. 1, 2009, she knowingly misapplied some vaccines and encouraged and directed parents of minor patients to falsely certify that they, and their child, qualified for the free vaccine, even though they had health insurance to cover the immunizations. Insurance company records show that a large number of these vaccines were billed to the insurance companies by Warnick, and paid as if the vaccine had been purchased by Warnick. Many other insured individuals did not sign the form; yet the vaccines were administered to their children and their insurance company was billed as if Warnick had purchased the vaccine.

The federally-funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of an inability to pay. Created in 1993, the VFC became a required part of each state’s Medicaid plan and was officially implemented in October 1994. Federal funding is ultimately allocated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC buys vaccines and distributes them to grantees, such as state health departments and public health agencies, which distribute them at no charge to private physicians’ offices and public health clinics registered as VFC providers.

The Central Illinois Health Care Fraud Task Force, which includes agents of the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Illinois State Police’s Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the Illinois Department of Public Health, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Hansen prosecuted the case.

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