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August 21, 2020

A Georgia-based chiropractor and her medical practice have been ordered to pay more than $5 million for violating the False Claims Act.  The government alleged that Dr. Jennifer Heller, D.C. caused Medicare to pay $1.4 million more than it would have had it known that hundreds of Heller’s charges for a surgical neurostimulator procedure were in actuality for acupuncture devices, which are not covered by Medicare, and which do not require surgery.  To resolve the charges, Heller Family Medicine, LLC will have to pay $4.3 million, while Heller herself will have to pay $700,000.  USAO SDGA

July 9, 2019

Two chiropractors who owned the Kansas City Health and Wellness Clinic have agreed to pay $350,000 to settle False Claims allegations.  Brothers Ryan Schell and Tyler Schell allegedly billed Medicare for medically unnecessary, unprovided, or uncovered treatments of peripheral neuropathy, which causes loss of sensation and/or burning sensations in the hands and feet.  USAO KS

March 15, 2019

Long Island chiropractor Raymond R. Pellegrino pleaded guilty to charges arising from his fraudulent billing of private insurance companies.   Pellegrino falsely billed Anthem Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield over $2 million for services claimed to have been provided by doctors employed by him, when knew those services had not, in fact, been provided.  USAO EDNY

March 6, 2018

Iowa chiropractor Bradley Brown and his clinic Brown Chiropractic, P.C. agreed to pay roughly $80,000 to settle claims they violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by billing Medicare and Medicaid for chiropractic adjustments after providing free electrical stimulation to beneficiaries to influence those beneficiaries to receive chiropractic adjustments from Brown. DOJ (NDIA)

January 24, 2018

Tennessee chiropractor Matthew Anderson agreed to pay $1.45 million to resolve allegations he violated the False Claims Act. Specifically, the government alleged that Anderson and his management company, PMC LLC, caused pharmacies to submit requests for Medicare and TennCare payments for pain killers dispensed based upon prescriptions written at the Cookeville Center for Pain Management, one of the pain clinics Anderson managed, which had no legitimate medical purpose. The government further alleged that Anderson caused four pain clinics he managed to bill Medicare for upcoded claims for office visits that were not reimbursable at the levels sought. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former office manager for the Cookeville Center for Pain Management under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblower will receive a whistleblower award of $246,500 from the proceeds of the government's recovery. DOJ

June 13, 2017

New Jersey doctor Robert Claude McGrath and his chiropractor son Robert Christopher McGrath admitted to conspiring to defraud Medicare by using unqualified people to give physical therapy to Medicare recipients. Together with their practice, the Atlantic Spine & Joint Institute, they also agreed to pay $1.78 million to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act through the illegal billings. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by Linda Stevens, a former billing manager at Atlantic Spine. She will receive a whistleblower award of roughly $338,200 from the proceeds of the government's recovery. DOJ (DNJ)

May 1, 2017

Kansas City area chiropractor Brian Schnitta and his clinic, Natural Way Chiropractic Center, agreed to pay roughly $1 million to settle allegations they violated the False Claims Act by charging Medicare for treatments for peripheral neuropathy not medically necessary or not otherwise covered by the program. DOJ (DKS)

May 20, 2016

New Jersey announced that a chiropractor from Morris County pleaded guilty to taking more than $250,000 in illegal kickbacks from doctors and other individuals in return for referring patients to their practices, clinics and medical imaging centers. Dr. Alexander Dimeo, 61, of Budd Lake, N.J., and Fort Myers, Fla., pleaded guilty to two separate accusations before Superior Court Judge Michael A. Toto in Middlesex County. Dimeo retired last year, but he formerly operated Passaic Chiropractic & Therapy Center PC in Passaic. In pleading guilty, Dimeo admitted that between 2009 and 2015, he received approximately $254,500 in illegal kickbacks for patient referrals. NJ

April 15, 2016

A former North Jersey chiropractor who was stripped of his license to practice more than a decade ago, has been charged with masterminding a medical fraud ring that allegedly bilked nearly $4 million from numerous insurance carriers. In an indictment handed up in Morris County Superior Court, Philip Potacco was charged with conspiracy, money laundering, and a host of other crimes in connection with the scheme he allegedly ran from his South Orange Medical Facility Consulting Group LLC (“SOTC”), 2010 to 2015. Potacco, whose chiropractic license was revoked in 2002, allegedly hired a licensed chiropractor to act as a straw owner of SOTC while he ran it covertly. Potacco allegedly used illegal “runners” to recruit accident patients to the facility, including people who had staged their crashes. Potacco then fraudulently submitted insurance claims for those patients, using the billing information of the licensed chiropractor he had hired, prosecutors said. Some of those claims were for services that were never rendered, according to prosecutors. NJ

September 24, 2015

Elizabeth Kressin agreed to pay $62,349 to resolve allegations she violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing the Medicaid system for medically unnecessary chiropractic procedures and for the treatment of conditions for which payment is not allowed, including bed wetting, colic and ear infections.  DOJ (Iowa)
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