Allstate Accuses Chiropractic Group of Multistate Scam
TEXAS: Allstate Insurance Company filed a federal lawsuit in early March alleging deception and coercion on the part of a Texas-based chiropractic company.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accused 66 defendants of taking part in an insurance fraud scheme by convincing car crash survivors that they had severe injuries requiring immediate treatment, which Allstate had to cover.
The lead defendant is Arlington-based Chiropractic Strategies Group Inc. and its owner, Michael Kent Plambeck. Other defendants include related law office management companies, attorneys and telemarketers.
Allstate seeks $10 million in the lawsuit, alleging violations of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
According to the 67-page complaint, a telemarketing company would solicit people who had been in car crashes, offering them a free chiropractic exam. Once at the clinics—located in Texas, Ohio, Indiana and Alabama—patients were told they needed immediate treatment.
Patients were also referred to personal injury lawyers, some of whom would show up at the clinic to sign up the patients as clients, according to the lawsuit.
The Dallas Morning News
California Doctor Arraigned for Fraud
CALIFORNIA: California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced in early March that an alleged fraud perpetrator has been arraigned for committing insurance fraud. Dr. Jon Fields, 53, of West Hills, CA, filed a long term disability claim with his insurance carrier, UnumProvident Corp., for an alleged injury he suffered in 2001. According to insurance company records, Fields claimed that his injury prohibited him from continuing his work as a chiropractor from September 2001 until May 2005. During this time period, UnumProvident paid Fields more than $298,000 in benefits, the Department of Insurance said. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation revealed that Fields allegedly continued treating patients while collecting benefits.
On Dec. 12, 2007, Fields surrendered himself to CDI investigators, and subsequently was booked on multiple counts of insurance fraud and one count of grand theft. Fields was arraigned on Jan. 7, 2008, and his next court appearance is scheduled for April 10, 2008. If convicted, Fields could be sentenced up to five years in state prison, a fine of up to $50,000, and court-ordered restitution to UnumProvident.
The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Pup Is Patients’ Best Friend
OHIO: Going to work everyday can be rough. For Lady Roxanne Rompsalot, it can be "ruff"—but she loves it. The 3 1/2-year-old English Springer Spaniel goes to work with her owner, Dr. Keith Seibert. She greets patients at the door, and often observes while they receive their adjustments and other treatments.
Roxy enjoys relaxing on an exam table, especially if the patient is sitting in one of the chairs. Seibert said patients will often joke that Roxy wants her adjustment first, and he obliges.
The spaniel loves the patients. "There’s nothing that she doesn’t like. She didn’t understand children for a long time," he said. Roxy is not allowed to bark in the office, but she barked the first time she saw a little girl. Seibert worked to get Roxy accustomed to humans who are smaller than what she was used to seeing. "Now she just loves kids."
Roxy also loves a yellow stuffed animal with red spots, which was a birthday present from a 3-year-old patient. Seibert said she often brings that toy to children who want to play with her.
"One of her favorite toys is this rope," Seibert said as he held up a long white rope that had knots tied in it. That rope once helped him notice improvement in a patient who had a problem with his shoulder, when he saw the patient and Roxy playing tug-of-war with the toy.
The chiropractor said only four of his patients do not want Roxy around during their treatments. During those appointments, Roxy stays in a kennel in a side room.
Port Clinton News Herald
Chiropractor Found Guilty of Sex Abuse
UTAH: American Fork chiropractor Grant Joel Hildreth was convicted by a jury of two counts of forcible sex abuse on March 25th for allegedly inappropriately touching a former patient and employee. Four other felony counts representing three other patients were dismissed by the eight-member jury.
The jury agreed that Hildreth had crossed a criminal line during two separate procedures on a patient and former employee in late May 2007.
The former secretary testified that several times after work she allowed Hildreth to apply medication on her, but on two occasions the application began to become sexual, she testified during the trial.
Hildreth will be sentenced May 2.
Deseret Morning News