June 13, 2016

Branford Psychiatrist Agrees To Give Up Medical License

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A Branford child psychiatrist who paid $30,000 to settle a Medicaid fraud allegation with the state last year has agreed to give up his medical license when it expires Aug. 31.

On May 24, the state Department of Public Health reached an agreement with Dr. W. Blake Taggart that he will voluntarily agree not to renew or reinstate his license. His action will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Though the allegations against him were not mentioned in the agreement, Taggart was in the news last year when he paid the fine to resolve allegations of fraudulent claims for payments to Cornerstones P.C., a Branford outpatient behavioral health clinic for children, according to press release from Attorney General George Jepsen.

Jepsen said that Taggart, who had been the medical director of Cornerstones, and social worker David M. Meyers, the former president of Cornerstones, had filed false claims for reimbursement from the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program, which is the state’s Medicaid program.

Jepsen said Taggart had resigned as medical director in September 2009, but two months later, Meyers falsely stated in a letter to the state Department of Social Services that Taggart was still the medical director. State officials said that Taggart was implicated in the fraud by signing the false, back-dated letter.

To be eligible for Medicaid payments, the clinic had to have a medical director. From Jan. 1, 2010 through Feb. 28, 2011, DSS paid Cornerstones about $64,000 for claims for providing services to children when the clinic did not have a medical director, Jepsen said.

Meyers agreed to pay $90,000 and Taggart agreed to pay $30,000 to resolve the state’s civil allegations, Jepsen said. Cornerstones has dissolved and is no longer in operation, he said.

Taggart could not be reached for comment.

In an unrelated action with DPH, a Watertown physician assistant voluntarily surrendered her license to practice on May 23.

On March 16, DPH had temporarily suspended the license of Mary E. McGuigan-Parker in connection with her “alleged substance abuse,’’ an interim consent order stated. DPH records show that McGuigan-Parker has now surrendered her license to practice.

7 thoughts on “Branford Psychiatrist Agrees To Give Up Medical License

  1. Blake Taggart did absolutely NOTHING to help my child in 2008. He claimed my child’s problems were related to “parenting” when I had two other perfectly mentally, emotionally and well behaved and adjusted boys. My son became suicidal for lack of the help he needed and was denied by Dr. Taggart any kind of medication for his chemical imbalance because the doctor could “not figure it out!” My child is fine now due to our diligence of finding a competent professional to treat him. Karma at its best.

    • Just curious, approximately how many appointments did you actually have with him? I totally agree with you that he just doesn’t “hand out meds” when people ask for it. It’s a last resort when other attempts are not successful. And having multiple children I am sure you know, especially if seeking the assistance of a psychiatrist, that each child has different needs and behaviors and we can’t cookie cutter parent them the same.

      My children have been his patients for MANY years and I am completely DISGUSTED that he is being convicted in a court of public opinion based on “allegations”. My kids are alive and successful because of him and the work we did together as a team to help my children. You’re right – he doesn’t just give you meds and see you next month. He actually expects you take some responsibility for the situation and do your best to help your kids before medicating them if they don’t actually need it. And yes, I have had a suicidal child and worked closely with Dr. Taggart and our therapist to get through it.

      I am sorry that you didn’t just get the meds from Dr. Taggart that you as a parent specifically wanted for your child, but I am eternally grateful that I actually got my children what they “need” from Dr. Taggart who I trust without question.

    • This is public smack talk. Not necessary on a public forum. Not every patient is satisfied with every provider. Doesn’t mean you have to join the hype.
      Dr. Taggart is literally a life saver. Helped my kids get through very difficult growing years with abusive parent. Taught me how to provide safe and appropriate consequences so the children could learn to be accountable for their choices.
      This news story seems to have been spun out by the other person involved, in order to diffuse the appearance of guilt and wrongdoing on that person’s part. It was a calculated move by Meyers . If you look on the government link you’ll see that Dr. Taggart was not convicted. He did not lose his license or serve time.
      Our mental health providers for our youth are now being watched by the government, in a frighteningly Orwellian-esque time, while the powers that be simultaneously cut funding for support people and services for youth. It’s inexplicable. In light of that irony, the state just lost one of its best providers. One who truly cared about his patients.
      I am grateful for having his guidance for my children as long as they did. The court did little to protect my children and me. DCF functioned with little impact and tied hands. Dr. Taggart was one of the few reliable supports we had. This is a devastating loss for many children, families and communities in which Dr. Taggart was a practitioner.

  2. When I was seeking the help of a Doctor for my son I had basically opened the phone book and called every child psychiatrist and Dr. Taggart was the only Doctor to give me the courtesy of a call back, we spoke for two hours at NO COST Dr. Taggart when ton treat my son for over 14 years. He is a terrific Doctor and don’t believe for one minute that this was something of his doing and now we have sadly lost a great Doctor, it is shameful!

  3. Dr. Taggart is one of the best adolescent psychiatrists out there. He is one of very few gifted in talk therapy as an MD. This entire incident is so incredibly sad, not only for his patients, but for the millions of children and adolescents who need the care of someone like Dr. Taggart. This country has an enormous shortage of child psychiatrists, let alone good ones. The ridiculous circumstances that left Dr. Taggart no choice but to leave the profession, is an absolute tragedy. It not only ended his career in which he was exceptional, but left hundreds of children and families devastated and without care. He was exceptional at helping my child and our family, and I know he cannot be replaced. The medical board not only destroyed Dr. Taggart’s professional career, they hurt the patients Dr. Taggart was so successful in helping. It really is shameful. At the same time, the boards actions succeeded in dissuading even more current and future medical students from choosing a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. Lest I forget, not many people care much about facts these days. Dr. Taggart is an amazing person and doctor!

  4. Dr Blake Taggart was my daughter’s psychiatrist from 2006 until now. He is the reason that my daughter is alive and I am still sane. Having your child hospitalized at 12 for self-injury and suicidal ideation is terrifying. Her first hospitalization was at Yale. When we told them the name of the Psychiatrist we had found they told us that we were so lucky because he was the best child/adolescent psychiatrist in CT. And after 10.5 years I would agree. He helped my daughter so much over the years. He was the constant in her treatment for the past 10.5 years.

    We saw several other psychiatrists during her 4 hospitalizations and 7 partial hospitalizations/ intensive outpatient programs. Dr Taggart was by far the best. He didn’t just medicate my daughter. And he always made us feel that we were part of decisions to change any medication or changes in dosages.

    I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone in need of the best psychiatrist.

    I am truly saddened that he is no longer my daughter’s psychiatrist.

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