In December of 2018 in Kansas City, Kansas, a Lenexa chiropractic clinic and its two owner-operators were brought under suit by the federal government for defrauding Medicare. This suit names the brothers, Ryan and Tyler Schell and the company, Kansas City Health & Wellness Clinic. It seeks triple damages under the federal False Claims Act. Between the dates of October 2011 and December 2013, the suit lists more than $467,000 in reportedly false billings. Triple damages would increase the amount to more than $1.4 million.
The lawsuit claims that the Schells billed Medicare for treatments that are not covered by the program and for treatments they did not even provide. The treatments were for a condition called peripheral neuropathy that causes burning stabbing or tingling pain commonly located around the hands and feet.
The lawsuit states that Kansas City Health & Wellness Clinic solicited patients with advertisements claiming it could heal neuropathy and “rejuvenate the nerve fibers.” The clinic billed Medicare for procedures and specialized equipment that included nerve conduction tests, nerve block injections, ultrasonic guidance and treatments using vasopneumatic devices.
The lawsuit also alleges that some of the procedures for which the Schells made claims were not provided and others were not medically reasonable or necessary for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy. For example, the clinic billed Medicare for services using vasopneumatic devices, which is specialized equipment used to apply pressure on the body to reduce swelling. Instead, the clinic was using mechanical massage chairs on patients in lieu of the vasopneumatic devices.
What constitutes healthcare fraud?
Some common examples of healthcare fraud include:
- False and fraudulent claims
- Billing errors
- Billing for medically unnecessary services, supplies or equipment
- Prescription drug fraud
- Billing for services, supplies or equipment that were not provided
Offenses such as these have resulted in about $2 billion in losses to the nation’s healthcare programs according to the Inspector General’s office. In response, the United States government has invested in a new anti-fraud computer system that aims to adapt tools used by credit card companies to detect suspicious purchases. The computer system is already proving useful as the government recovered over $4 billion in fraudulent payments in 2018, a record number.
What you can do to help fight healthcare fraud
If you or someone you know has discovered fraud being committed within or by an institution, please contact the Law Office of Richard Schechter today. Mr. Schechter has experience handling healthcare fraud cases, and he will work to ensure you are protected throughout the legal process as justice is served. He will provide you a free consultation, answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. Call 1-800-734-5612 today for your free consultation with Mr. Schechter.