Oops! When does YOUR license expire?
PENNSYLVANIA: A chiropractor from Hanover failed to renew his license and could face thousands of dollars in fines for practicing without a state license since last September.
"There was a mix-up with the renewal. It’s in the process of getting straightened out," said chiropractor Gerald P. Stefanoski.
Department of State Spokesman, Cathy Ennis, confirmed that Stefanoski’s license had not been renewed. She also said that, if a chiropractor practices after his license has expired, he might also be placed on probation by the board once his license is renewed.
Stefanoski’s lapsed license was discovered by Excalibur Insurance Management Services, a firm that oversees workers compensation claims for city government employees in Wilkes-Barre. Stefanoski was on a city-approved list to provide services to employees with workers compensation claims.
Excalibur claims manager, Thomas Gaugham informed Stefanoski by letter that his name will be removed from the list and that the city will seek reimbursement of any payments it made to the chiropractor after his license expired.
Although Excalibur adjuster Leo Murray said that the city had paid Stefanoski at least $5,000 since the expiration date last September, the chiropractor said that the city worker’s compensation program is a very small part of his practice. "Only two city employees are currently under his care," he said.
Stefanoski accepted his mistake and expressed, "They’ll have to do what they have to do."
Chiropractor Faces Fraud Charges
INDIANA: An Indianapolis chiropractor has plead not guilty to charges he tried to bill insurance companies for tests and services that never were performed. Charging documents filed in Marion Superior Court say Robert A. Ekin, 38, and Midtown Chiropractic contacted people who had reported auto crashes, offering free evaluations.
Ekin is accused of illegal activity from 2003 to 2006. He was charged in late June with one count of corrupt business influence, a Class C felony carrying a potential penalty of two to eight years in prison. Prosecutors also charged him with 10 counts each of attempted theft and insurance fraud, both low-level felonies.
A former assistant to the manager and massage practitioner at Midtown, defended Ekin, noting insurance companies often resist paying claims.
"It’s all a lie," she said. "The insurance companies don’t want to pay the people’s bills."
Ekin was released after paying $20,000 bond during a hearing on June 27th in Marion Superior Court. A trial date was set for August 27th.
Chiropractor Pleads Guilty of Big Time Health Care Fraud
GEORGIA: In early June, former Savannah chiropractor Eric J. Baty pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to commit health care fraud. Evidence presented to US District Senior Judge Dudley H Bowen Jr. in Savannah showed that, from July 2000 until June 2005, Baty billed more than $5 million in fraudulent physical therapy claims to Medicare and Georgia Medicaid, a press statement from Acting US Attorney Edmund Booth Jr. stated.
Baty initially pleaded innocent to charges in the 50-count indictment returned in January but, in June, he changed his plea to guilty on count one charging conspiracy. As part of his negotiated plea, Assistant US Attorney Jim Durham and Brian Mc Evoy will not pursue 42 additional charges naming Baty in the case.
Savannah Morning News
Chiropractor Facing 95 Years for Filing Fake Insurance Claims
PENNSYLVANIA: Luzerne County chiropractor Robert A. Bittenbender is facing up to 95 years in prison after a federal jury found him guilty of conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion. Assistant US Attorney Barbara Kosik-Whitaker said she was pleased with the jury verdict, especially since Bittenbender, of Freeland, refused to accept his responsibility for "bilking" more than $200,000 out of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Northeastern Pennsylvania by filing phony insurance claims for four years.
Since being indicted in April 2006, Dr. Bittenbender has maintained his innocence and fired several attorneys who advised him to take a plea, according to his attorney.
Owatonna Chiropractor Found Not Guilty of Molesting Charges
MINNESOTA: Lyle Coleman, an Owatonna chiropractor who was accused by several female patients of touching them inappropriately, was declared by juries not guilty of charges related to the accusations. He was also acquitted by a jury from similar charges in May. Both cases involved former patients who accused Coleman of touching them sexually during treatment sessions. The dismissed charges were the last of the 11 charges in all that the state brought against Coleman in 2004 after female patients came to police alleging they had been molested.