Happy new year everyone! On behalf of the entire Allegiant Experts team, we’d like to wish you a very joyous and successful 2017. Here’s hoping you enjoyed a fantastic holiday season and that you ended 2016 on a high note. We can certainly say that 2016 ended pretty badly for a group of Minnesota-based chiropractors who made it a habit to defraud automobile insurance companies from 2010 to 2015.
As reported by William Bornhoft on Patch.com just before Christmas, no less than 21 defendants have been charged with conspiring to commit healthcare fraud. The schemes, outlines Bornhoft, involved the submission of fraudulent no-fault insurance claims to automobile insurance companies. “Police say the defendants, charged by four indictments and two felony informations, fraudulently billed insurance companies for millions of dollars over the course of the parallel conspiracies,” he writes.
Among the chiropractors named in the federal case are Preston Forthun, Angela Schulz, Huy Ngoc Nguyen and Adam Burke. In the article, Commerce Commissioner, Mike Rothman is quoted as saying that the actions of the chiropractors cannot be tolerated. Perpetrating staged car accidents, receiving illegal kickbacks and submitting phony medical billing were among the intolerable actions taken by those being charged.
Bornhoft points out that “under the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act, auto insurance policies must include a personal injury protection provision (PIP). The PIP provision carries a minimum coverage amount of $40,000 for expenses resulting from injuries sustained in an automobile accident, $20,000 of which may be used for medical expenses.” Evidently, the group of chiropractors were intent on making off with as much of that coverage as they could.
The charging documents explain that the accused would submit claims and receive reimbursements for chiropractic services with were neither necessary nor even actually performed. As well, the services that they claimed to either provide or prescribe were not medically necessary based on the physical conditions of their patients. The submissions for reimbursement were specifically designed to maximize as lucrative an insurance claim as possible.
In addition, the chiropractors hired “recruiters” in order to bring more patients into their offices who didn’t necessarily need any treatment. “The chiropractors charged would make illegal payments to patient recruiters, known as ‘runners,’” explains Bornhoft, “Runners typically made upwards of $1,000 per automobile accident patient in exchange for bringing the patient into the chiropractor’s office, according to police.”
The chiropractors also used these runners to conceal their kickback payments in a number of ways. Forthun, for example, would write checks for runners, describing them as payments for “transportation” or “marketing” on the memo lines. Nguyen would make checks out to “cash” in the thousands for such false reasons as “chiropractic supplies” or “office supplies”.
The team, here at Allegiant Experts, would like to start 2017 off by contributing to the cases of attorneys who are combating such instances of fraud in court. For more information about our experience, expertise and how we may be able help your case, please don’t hesitate to call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.