Across the country, millions of dollars are lost each year in health care fraud. Although some providers make legitimate and unintentional mistakes, the majority of cases involve deliberate acts of fraud committed for financial gain.
One 42-year-old former chiropractor that operated a clinic in Covington now faces 30 counts of federal health care fraud along with four counts of identity theft. The accused operated the Back on Track Clinic, later renamed the Spine and Joint Center of Washington Parish, when the Medicaid and Medicare fraud allegedly occurred. The man has been charged with submitting fees to private insurers for X-rays, chiropractic adjustments, back braces and allergy tests that were not actually provided to patients.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, the man also billed private insurers $1,000 for each back brace he prescribed although the patients only got cheaper brands that would have gotten lesser reimbursements. He allegedly offered co-payment breaks and incentives to patients who would use expensive allergy blood tests. The tests were then allegedly overbilled.
Meanwhile, four charges of aggravated identity theft follow from allegations that the accused used the insurance provider numbers of medical doctors.
If convicted, the accused man could face $250,000 in fines and receive a prison sentence of 10 years for each health care fraud charge and 2 years for every identity theft charge. Compounding his problems, the man does not yet seem to have any legal representation.
Having experienced legal representation is crucial when anyone faces charges, especially those from federal prosecution, which can net harsh sentences if the accused is convicted. An experienced criminal law professional can act on behalf of an accused person and scrutinize evidence and witness accounts to better contest charges against a client. Any Louisiana resident facing criminal charges should seek the most experienced and capable representation available.
Source: NOLA.com, "Former Covington chiropractor charged with health care fraud and identity theft by federal grand jury," Heather Nolan, Feb. 13, 2014