For one Ohio chiropractor, the pain felt by taking part in workers compensation fraud is bad.
The Nelsonville (Athens County) chiropractor was ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.
Michael L. Brown pleaded guilty in August in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to one count of workers comp fraud, a fourth-degree felony.
“We suspected there was a problem after multiple individuals contacted BWC to report Mr. Brown’s fraud schemes,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “Medical providers have an extremely important job of evaluating the condition of injured workers and determining whether they are able to return to work. We place our trust in them, and unfortunately, it appears Mr. Brown was not focused on providing the best care for his patients.”
BWC’s Special Investigations Department received allegations that Brown was billing for services not rendered, billing patient claims for dates of service when the patients were not at the office and billing for treatment at times when his office was closed.
Multiple interviews confirmed both the allegations and that Brown controlled billing for the office. In June 2010, numerous pieces of evidence that substantiated the allegations were seized from Brown’s office.
Where Were the Patients?
Records showed that patients were not at his office on days that Brown billed their claims for treatment; documents showed that multiple patient claims were billed on dates the office was closed; evidence was also discovered that Brown fabricated the amount of treatment patients received in order to receive a higher payment for services.
Brown was ordered to pay $394,021.03 in restitution, which includes approximately $60,000 in investigative costs. He was sentenced to five years of probation.
If he fails to comply with the terms of his probation, Brown could be sentenced to serve nine months in jail. Brown voluntarily decertified himself as a BWC health-care provider.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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