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MN psychiatrist accused of billing irregularities

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A published report says a highly paid psychiatrist working in state mental health hospitals engaged in a pattern of false billing claims while collecting more than $430,000 in payments beyond his base salary over three years.

The Star Tribune reports that investigative documents show Dr. Robert B. Jones billed the state for services while he was actually working at his private practice and family farm. As a result, investigators concluded, patients under state care likely failed to receive the treatment they needed. The newspaper says a top official failed to crack down despite knowing of the billing irregularities.

Jones oversaw psychiatric care for hundreds of patients at several northern Minnesota facilities.

He denies any wrongdoing and says he didn't know he was under investigation.

The state fired Jones in February.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.