INDIANAPOLIS -- When you go to a doctor, psychologist or family therapists, chances are you expect that person has a valid Indiana license, but Call 6 Investigates has uncovered individuals in central Indiana accused of practicing or providing health care without a license.
According to records obtained by Call 6 Investigates, since January 2016, the Indiana Attorney General’s office has filed a dozen cease-and-desist complaints telling people to stop practicing without a license.
Call 6 Investigates tracked down some of those people who received cease-and-desist complaints to find out what happened and how you can protect yourself as a patient.
KOKOMO MAN ACCUSED OF PRACTICING FAMILY THERAPY WITHOUT LICENSE
Chad Myers of Kokomo worked at Kid Psych in Westfield, a family psychology practice for children and families.
According to documents filed by the Indiana Attorney General, Kid Psych listed Myers with “MFT” after his name, which stands for Marriage and Family Therapist.
The Kid Psych website also said Myers specialized in attachment-based therapy, addictions, and couples therapy, according to documents filed by the Indiana Attorney General.
Records show Myers does not have a marriage and therapy license, nor does he have a marriage and family therapy associate license, but he provided therapy to clients for compensation.
Call 6 Investigates tried to reach Myers but was unable to, so we stopped by his house in Kokomo.
A piece of that conversation is transcribed below.
Call 6: "Were you practicing as a therapist with no license?"
Myers: "No, no I was not."
Call 6: "What happened?"
Myers: "That’s not something we’re going to talk about."
Call 6: "You won’t tell us what happened?"
Myers: "No, not when you just come to my house and ask me point blank."
Myers said he earned a master’s degree in 2012 in marriage and family therapy. He said it was his understanding that he could work alongside a doctor through Medicaid as long as he was eligible for licensure.
Records show Myers reached a resolution with the Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board in 2017 in which he agreed to stop claiming to be a marriage and family therapist while unlicensed.
Myers said he plans to get licensed by the state.
"They were able to say ‘yes, what we want you to do is not practice therapy until the license component is done,’ and so I’m studying for my exam,” said Myers. “When that's done, we fully go back to practice."
Myers said it was his understanding that when you graduate with your master's, you can work with a doctor unlicensed through Medicaid as long as you are eligible for licensure.
Kid Psych did not provide a comment for this story.
STATE FILES CASE AGAINST INDIANAPOLIS PASTOR, THERAPIST
Samuel Adeyanju is the CEO at Livinghope Consulting and Counseling near 38th Street and North High School Road.
According to a motion filed by the state, Adeyanju listed himself on the provider’s website as a “mental health therapist” even though he is not licensed.
Adeyanju agreed to speak with Call 6 Investigates.
“I didn't put licensed,” I didn't say I'm licensed,” said Adeyanju. “That ‘L’ makes a big difference, and that didn't appear on my website."
Adeyanju said he couldn't believe he received a cease-and-desist complaint from the state.
“I was shocked because I wasn’t expecting it,” said Adeyanju.
The state dismissed their case against him after he took down the mental health therapist reference on his website.
“I’m in compliance,” said Adeyanju.
Adeyanju said he is a pastor and doesn’t receive compensation for his services.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” said Adeyanju. “I am not paid personally for seeing the clients.”
He explained they have a clinical psychologist on staff who helps oversee operations.
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE: “It is for the health and safety of all consumers.”
The Indiana Attorney General’s office investigates complaints about unlicensed health care practice and files requests with professional licensing boards who can then issue the cease-and-desist orders.
“It is for the health and safety of all consumers that these individuals stop the work they are doing,” said Betsy DeNardi, director of consumer protection for the Indiana Attorney General. “These individuals may not be providing you with the appropriate care that you need. The goal of our office is to prevent and to stop people from continuing the unlicensed practice.”
DeNardi explained leaving out the word “licensed” from your credentials isn’t good enough if you’re still leaving the impression that you’re licensed.
"I don't have to say I’m a licensed doctor, but if I'm trying to treat someone's medical conditions, then I’m holding myself out as a doctor, and in the State of Indiana you're required to meet certain criteria and have a license," said DeNardi. “You don’t have to use the word licensed. The statutes and the rules relate to what the person is doing.”
The Attorney General’s office says they can’t launch an investigation without a complaint, so they encourage anyone who believes an individual is practicing without a license to contact their office .
“The state is vigorously investigating any complaints we receive,” said DiNardi.
They often use websites, social media, and other records as evidence in investigations.
“Anytime you’re advertising services, whether you’ve actually provided them you’re still holding yourself out as if you’re going to provide those service as long as someone were to pay for them,” said DeNardi.
INDIANAPOLIS DIABETES COORDINATOR ACCUSED OF CLAIMING TO BE MEDICAL DOCTOR
Diana Trujillo Rollison is a diabetes coordinator at the Alivio Medical Center in Indianapolis, records show.
According to a cease-and-desist order issued August 10 from the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana, Rollison claimed on her website to be a “medical doctor with 24 years experience.”
The webpage included information about Alivio Medical Center, and said: “for appointments at Alivio Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN, call 317-635-3499.”
The Indiana Attorney General alleged the statement could have encouraged patients to call the number and book a physician-patient appointment with “Dr. Diana Trujillo Rollison.”
Call 6 Investigates contacted Rollison via email.
“I am not fluent in English, with me being an immigrant from Colombia but a USA citizen,” said Rollison in an email to RTV6. “If you have questions you can contact my lawyer if she would want to answer any questions.”
Call 6 Investigates offered to provide a translator to help conduct an interview.
“No, thank you,” responded Rollison in an email to RTV6.
Jenna Shives, an associate with Plews Shadley Racher & Braun, responded to Call 6 Investigates as well.
“Ms. Rollison is not available for comment,” said Shives in an email. “ We also would note that the cease-and-desist order is not yet final, as the time to appeal has not expired.”
Call 6 Investigates checked with the Professional Licensing Agency and learned the 30 days has expired for Rollison to file an appeal, and she has not done so.
Alivio Medical Center did not respond to requests for comment.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AS A PATIENT
If a person does not stop even after getting a cease-and-desist order, the state can file an action in civil court, and a judge can order them to spend time behind bars.
However, that’s rare and did not happen in any of the cases reviewed by Call 6 Investigates from the last three years.
“Usually the process works,” said DiNardi. “Most people may not realize a license is required so when they’re informed of that they stop that behavior.”
Here’s what you can do as a patient:
- Ask to see their Indiana license
- Go to the state’s professional licensing website and put in their name
- Check to see if they’re licensed
- Check to see if they have any prior discipline
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