Doctor, nurse plead guilty to health care fraud

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage doctor and his wife, a nurse, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to charges of health care fraud.

Dr. Jay D. Van Houten, who has had his medical license suspended for overprescribing pain pills to addicts, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of making false statements.

Ida Van Houten pleaded guilty to felony charges of billing for services not given and double billing.

Ida Van Houten could spend time in jail and community confinement of up to six months, according to the plea agreement. Her husband faces up to six months in jail.

The two originally were indicted in July on 84 charges accusing them of bilking insurance companies of nearly $90,000, federal prosecutors said.

Jay Van Houten is a doctor of osteopathy who approaches medicine holistically but also uses modern practices. Ida Van Houten is a registered nurse and licensed acupuncturist.

The couple agreed to $22,022 in restitution. Assistant U.S. attorney Lane Tucker said between $65,000 and $70,000 will be settled in a civil lawsuit between the government and the Van Houtens.



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